Abia Revenue collection: The Mac Atasie ICT Revolution by Ukpai Kalu Ukpai

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What is Revenue?

In accounting, revenue is the total amount of income generated by the sale of goods and services related to the primary operations of the business. Commercial revenue may also be referred to as sales or as turnover. Some companies receive revenue from interest, royalties, or other fees.

Abia, a commercial hub and the SME capital of Nigeria is one of the states in Nigeria with so many commercial activities, which include buying and selling, importing and exporting, and production of goods and services.

Abia Revenue drive.

Previous administrations in Abia right from creation have been making use of manual method of collecting revenue to drive its revenue collection.
This process includes printing of daily ticket, cash collection at all points and the use of touts(Agbero) to collect revenue, which in some cases leads to breaking of law and order in a peaceful environment.

We can recall back in the days when those who check tickets, would resort to dragging Keke, vehicles, cars, heavy dusty trucks carrying cement or building materials etc. They would some times drag the steering with the operators of these vehicles even when the vehicles are in motion. Such would only lead to accidents and other unfortunate incidents.

Part of the negative implications of manual revenue collection is that some will not be accounted for, even the ones accounted for, will never be complete and balanced.

Mac Atasie ICT innovation ( Driving revenue collection Technologically)

The utilization of ICT can bridge the gap between taxes owed and taxes collected. There are three ways that technology can help: (1) self-service by promoting voluntary compliance and convenience through easy to use payment platforms; (2) deploying high performance analytics through the use of geographic information systems to uncover, track, analyse, and address non-compliance quickly and effectively; and (3) leverage data to research and improve compliance measures and better customise taxpayer services.

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Under Sir Mac Atasie, Abia Revenue collection has witnessed a very high improvement and compliance from taxpayers in the state.

Under his Revenue Drive, revenue collection has been highly digitalized to a level that “at the press of a button, you can give a comprehensive account of the total number of tricycle operators operating in the state and expected revenue daily; trucks, commercial transporters and the daily revenue even at the various markets.

Within the tricycle operators, before he came on board, daily tickets were paid to different groups, which made percentage of accountability very low as most of the money collected would go into personal pockets.

Today, daily tickets are paid through a USSD Code, for all daily Revenue collection and straight to the state Revenue account.

I ran into a friend last week, he told me his vehicle was seized by members of TIMASS, I asked him why; he said wrong parking. As a normal system, I told him to give the guys money or you meet their boss and settle him. He said they gave him a document outlining all the traffic laws he broke and asked him to pay into the state Revenue Account and come back with a Remiter to claim his vehicle.

As someone living in the state, it was shocking to me because if it was during the manual collection, cash will be collected at the office but it will never be remitted to government.

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Under Mac Atasie supervision, the state revenue has been assembled under one central Revenue Account. By doing so, the Chief Executive of the state can simply at a click of the button know how much each state revenue generating Agencies generate in a day, week, month and year.

Through ICT, Sir Mac Atasie has streamlined the state revenue collection which has made it so easy.

For somebody living in Umuahia, you hardly see people running after Dangote trucks or see Agbero running after Keke riders in the state to check if they have paid their daily tickets or not, you hardly see group of young men moving in a small mnini bus popularly known as oke bekee around the streets of umuahia looking for resident permit and business premises, we hardly these days Dangote trucks blocking the popular isi-gate in umuahia because of daily ticket, why? Because the ICT innovation of Sir Mac Atasie has proven that there are easy ways to collect revenues using Information Communication Technology. It is easy, it is stress free and it ensures transparency and Accountability.


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By Amos Kalu
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