KAMPALA –The European Union supported Program on Integrated Local Finances for Sustainable Urban Development in the Greater Kampala Metropolitan Area (PIFUD), kicked off in a program inception meeting with co-beneficiaries today at the LEAP Center, City Hall, Kampala Capital City Authority.
PIFUD is a collaboration initiative between KCCA, EU, FMDV, UNCDF and GKMA (Greater Kampala Metropolitan Area selected Municipal Councils of Makindye Ssabagabo, Nansana and Entebbe) aimed at enhancing the capacity of sub national entities in the GKMA to mobilize finances for investments in sustainable solutions in order to address the pressing challenges facing Kampala Metropolitan Area.
The high level meeting was attended by stake holders and beneficiaries from the Greater Kampala Metropolitan Area selected Municipal Councils.
In his opening remarks, Mr. Masereka Edison the PIFUD Program Manager said the 48 months EUR 4 Million will focus on 3 key outcomes that is, Regulatory reforms to allow sub nationals in the GKMA to access Capital markets to finance the much needed infrastructure, enhancing own source revenues through innovation and automation of local management systems and Innovation and smart solutions for low carbon energy adoption.
He further highlighted that this program will contribute to the NDPIII, GKMA LED SDG 11 on Sustainable Cities and Communities, SDG 13 on Climatic Action, SDG 7 on Affordable and Clean Energy, SDG 9 on Industry Innovation and Infrastructure, SDG 3 on Good Health and Wellbeing, and SDG 4 on Quality Education.
This project already has the support of the Central Government. This was reiterated by Mr. James Ogwang, the PIFUD Project Coordinator and Principal Financial Analyst-Local Revenue at the Local Government Finance Commission, who said that automation for all revenue collection at sub nationals is the way to go.
He also thanked the World Bank for support towards this project in as far as enhancing own source revenue leveraging digital technology is concerned. He particularly sighted the Integrated Revenue Administration System (IRAS) which the World Bank is supporting through the Public – Private Infrastructure Advisory Facility (PPIAF) trust Fund.
Mr. Ogwang called upon the selected Municipal Councils for this project to embrace the opportunity in order to achieve efficient revenue mobilization and administration, as this will also open exposure opportunities for the respective municipal employees, among other things.
On the part of key result area number two of this project which is, Enhancing Own Source Revenues through innovation and automation of local revenue management systems, Mr Frank Batungwa Tumusiime the Lead World Bank Consultant on the Integrated Revenue Administration System (IRAS) re-echoed the need to leverage digital technology in tax management systems all the way from the Identification, enumeration, registration, assessment & billing, collection and management of the taxes.
He also emphasized the need for intense sensitization of the masses, the political and technical wings of the sub-national entities, and stakeholder engagements so that the automation of tax management systems like IRAS can have an ideal ground for deepening.
The meeting was also attended by Town Clerks and or representatives from the GKMA selected PIFUD Municipal Councils, among others.