Cargo checkpoints at the Port of Mombasa have been linked to the Kenya Revenue Authority (KRA) in a move expected to reduce goods clearance time and enhance transparency.
This is after the taxman commissioned a Sh2.6 billion Mombasa port metropolitan fibre optic network on Wednesday that will connect 23 clearing points to a centralised location in KRA’s Nairobi headquarters.
The project is part of the Sh50 billion Eastern Africa Regional Transport, Trade and Development Facilitation Programme (EARTTDFP) that connects Kenya and South Sudan through the laying of a fibre-optic cable and construction of a superhighway. It is jointly funded by the government of Kenya and the World Bank.
KRA Commissioner Corporate Support Services, Dr David Kinuu, said the new ICT infrastructure will improve efficiency in revenue collection.
“Today’s event marks a major milestone for KRA and for the entire Eastern Africa Regional Transport, Trade and Development Facilitation Project and starting this financial year (July 1), KRA will have a central point to monitor its revenue collections to ensure there is efficiency,” said Mr Kinuu.
“The project, which started in 2015, once completed will connect Kenya and South Sudan through fibre optic hence reduce time and cost of doing business,” he added.
The project entails harmonisation of Customs and other border, risk management and control procedures, designing of a one-stop border post (OSBP) at Nadapal/Nakodok, strengthening of the cross-border trade including enhancing KRA coordination with other border agencies and supporting the implementation of an integrated border management system.
Dr Kinuu noted that KRA has already put in place measures to ensure the implementation of the memorandum of understanding (MoU) between Kenya and South Sudan with regards to information exchange, use of common procedures and facilitate the use of ICT for revenue collection.
“The project includes the A1 highway construction from Eldoret to Nakodok and a 630km fibre optic cable that will increase internet connectivity in the region,” said Deputy Project Coordinator World Bank Funded Projects Judith Kerich.
On revenue collection, Dr Kinuu expressed optimism that the taxman will surpass its revenue target in the 2021/2022 financial year.
“Last fiscal year, KRA managed to surpass its target but with the new investments we are making, we shall surpass Sh1.86 trillion,” he said.