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Poor Internet Connection, Lack of Digital Equipment Affecting Implementation of IRAS in Lira :: Uganda Radionetwork
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Poor Internet Connection, Lack of Digital Equipment Affecting Implementation of IRAS in Lira

Patrick Okello, the Lira District Senior Finance Officer who also doubles as District Revenue Officer says that although the IRAS is efficient and transparent, the transaction is being affected by poor internet.
Poor internet connectivity and lack of digital equipment are affecting the implementation of the Integrated Revenue Administration System (IRAS) by the Lira District Local Government. This has resulted in a reduction in revenue collection.

IRAS is part of the government financial management reform developed through a partnership with the World Bank. It is an automation of revenue administration and management. Lira District was selected to pilot the program in the Financial Year 2021/2022 with the hope that it will improve revenue collection and address challenges like lack of centralized data management, leakages in revenue collection and generation, and difficulty in reporting.

However, IRAS is crippled by poor internet connection and the lack of digital equipment. For instance, in 2022/2023 F/Y, the district collected only 251,864,500 Shillings representing 6.96% of the targeted Shillings 3,618,836,000.

Patrick Okello, the Lira District Senior Finance Officer who also doubles as District Revenue Officer says that although the IRAS is efficient and transparent, the transaction is being affected by poor internet. According to Okello, taxpayers do not pay if the network is down, and neither can they update the system on time due to poor network.

//Cue in: “Network is a…

Cue out: ... in the IRAS.”//

The other challenge Okello highlighted is the lack of equipment such as printers, iPad, and smartphones by the lower local government officials but he was quick to note that the Government had promised to provide them with digital equipment for easy operations.

//Cue in: “You know IRAS…

Cue out: ... have not given.”//

However, Andrew Abango a businessman in Aromo sub-county in Lira district says despite the poor internet connection, IRAS is not engaging at all because businesses are only given value and receipts to pay for the tax without actual assessment of the business.

//Cue in: “There are circumstances….

Cue out: ...assess your business.”//

Bob Ojera, a hotel manager in Agweng sub county appreciates the IRAS saying taxpayers are not cheated because they pay their taxes straight to the Government's account and there are no revenue leakages.

Luo bite:

//Cue in: “Anwongo nii ka…

Cue out: ... pay like that.”//

Among the sub-counties that are fairly performing in the revenue collection include Ogur with 103%, Itek at 38%, Ayami at 38%, and Aromo has 4.23% with the least performance.

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