Dar es Salaam. An increase in economic activities in various districts across the country has had a positive impact, resulting into a record revenue collection by local government authorities, latest data show.
Data, released by minister of State in the President’s Office (Regional Administration and Local Government - PO-RALG), Mr Innocent Bashungwa, showed yesterday that during the 2021/22 financial year councils recorded a 103 percent of the set target to net Sh888.7 billion.
This is the highest performance to have been attained in a decade.
It, however, comes at a time when President Samia Suluhu Hassan has said the councils might have set their targets low so that they can surpass them.
The President said during an event to swore-in regional commissioners, regional administrative secretaries and some heads of public institutions at the Dar es Salaam State House on Monday that it was due to a belief that the targets were lower that the government decided to raise them during the 2022/23 financial year.
And, speaking in Dar es Salaam yesterday, Mr Bashungwa said the revenue collection during the period was higher compared to a target of Sh863.9 billion.
He attributed the performance to increased economic activities and efficiency in revenue collection.
Mr Bashungwa disclosed that under the period of review, 100 councils garnered revenue at 100 percent or so of their set targets.
He went further explaining that the other 78 councils collected between 80-99 percent of their set targets.
Again, seven councils registered between 58-79 percent of their set targets.
“Councils that hit their annual set target jumped from 57 in 2020/21 to 100 during the last financial year, this is commendable indeed,” applauded Mr Bashungwa.
Adding: “No single council that was below 50 percent of its target, this is a positive development that we need to cherish.”
Dar es Salaam Region outshined other regions, retaining its top spot in revenue collection at Sh167.5 billion followed by Dodoma that garnered Sh89.4 billion.
While Coast Region came third after it collected Sh48.7 billion, Rukwa Region trailed with its Sh9.4 billion revenue collection.
“This (Rukwa’s performance) was triggered by a small number of councils present in the region,” said Mr Bashungwa.
Mr Bashungwa was quick to point out that despite the fact that they were not leading in revenue collection, some regions were leading percent-wise in line with their annual set target.
They include the Coast Region (118 percent), Manyara (114 percent), Katavi (112 percent) and Songwe (111 percent).
Things were not in favor of Lindi Region, which collected 87 percent of the target and thus trailing in the list.
However, if compared to the 2020/21 financial year, Lindi has a reason to smile as its last financial year performance was in an improved shape.
During the 2020/21 financial year Lindi collected 78 percent of its target.
“The improvement that you have recorded is not a peanut. I am confident you can do better,” said Mr Bashungwa.
He said local authorities have a daunting task ahead of collecting Sh1.01 trillion in the current financial year, the amount which is higher compared to Sh888.7 billion that was collected during the last financial year.
Minister Bashungwa said despite the fact that local government authorities surpassed the target, there was room for them to do better.
He directed Regional Commissioners and Regional Administrative Secretaries to ensure that all revenue leakage loopholes were sealed.
His directives came just a day after President Samia Suluhu Hassan expressed her dissatisfaction with revenue collection trends in local government authorities.
Mr Bashungwa warned levy collectors and civil servants who were joining their forces to misuse public funds.
“I have directed the ministry (PO-RALG)’s Permanent Secretary to form a team that will investigate the entire chain from councils to the ministry so that we can find culprits and act accordingly,” he recounted.