Laikipia County government has revealed an increase of local-sourced revenue of Sh840.4 million for the financial year 2020/2021 despite the Covid-19 scourge that adversely affected the country’s economy.
Deputy Governor John Mwaniki while addressing the media in Nanyuki town after the launch of an annual report for the financial year 2020/2021 said they had aimed at attaining a target of Sh1 billion.
“We missed Sh166 million to achieve our Sh1 billion target. We hope that in the future we will be able to collect even Sh3 billion revenue locally,” Mwaniki noted.
Last financial year, they collected Sh840,396,633, which is the highest ever to be collected in the last five years.
From the financial year 2017/2018 the county revenue moved from Sh468.9 million to Sh608.4 million. Further, in the 2018/2019 financial year, revenue increased from Sh608.4 million to Sh815.7 million.
However, in 2019/ 2020, Governor Ndiritu Muriithi administration recorded a decrease from Sh815.7 to Sh730.9 million due to the Covid-19 that disrupted the country’s economy.
Mwaniki said their partnership with Safaricom enabled them in ensuring the remote parts of Laikipia have network connectivity and boost digital payment of taxes for instance at livestock markets which is one of ways that enabled them to record high revenue increment.
“Cashless payment method has helped in ensuring timely payment of taxes. An efficient tax system can only be achieved by making it easier for the taxpayer to pay,” Mwaniki said.
Mwaniki said that ease of doing business in the county contributed to enhanced tax collection.
“The ease of operating business in Laikipia has played a major role in seamless tax collection. However, when you have few people paying taxes to support the majority, it becomes more expensive,” he added.
The Deputy Governor noted that in partnership with National, KCB, Co-operative, Family and Equity banks they have introduced an economic stimulus fund that can be accessed by SMEs at a subsidised rate of five per cent in a bid to stimulate the economy.
“We will continue supporting our business people. With our local banks we have subsidised loan interests so that businesses can resume their normalcy. As a government we are paying five per cent and the borrower of the loan pays seven per cent,” Mwaniki said.
By Muturi Mwangi and Naomi Gesare