Mobile payment systems key to Accra’s effective tax collection, says IBM

Mobile payment systems key to Accra’s effective tax collection, says IBM

Up to 50% of revenues of Accra, the Ghanaian capital, are being lost due to fraud and underpayment by residents, Lydia Sackey, metro director of budget in the Accra Metropolitan Assembly, said yesterday.

“Revenue generation is key to improving city services in Accra. Quite simply, if we don’t raise enough revenue, we are not able to perform our functions and produce enough services for the people in the city,” Sackey said.

Now, global technology company IBM has identified ways of helping the embattling city of this West Africa nation to deal with this challenge.

IBM released a report, A Vision for Smarter Growth: an IBM Smarter Cities Report on Accra, Ghana, this week highlighting how mobile payment systems could help make the process of paying taxes easier for Accra’s residents in the future.

“Hosting city services in the cloud would translate to more transparent and cost-effective municipal service delivery and an online platform for cataloguing property values could lead to a substantial increase in property tax revenues,” Jonathan Batty, IBM media relations leader for growth market unit, said.

“Big Data analytics could help city authorities more easily identify cases of tax under payment or fraud,” Batty added.

IBM says the government of Ghana sees improved revenue collection as key to Accra’s transformation and its ability to fund investment across all of the city’s systems – a key part of the country’s Urban Policy Framework and Action Plan.

IBM has reiterated that technology was key to help the city of Accra to undergo a real social and economic transformation, and be counted among the best in Africa.

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