Design And Implementation Of A Computerized System For Revenue Generation From Business Premises
The Onitsha metropolis in particular and Nigeria in general is battling with several challenges pertaining to local revenue generation for the past decade. This situation has weakened the operation and management of Onitsha Metropolitan Assembly leading to increasing loss of revenue. The study attempts to create an e-revenue generation and management systemwhich will curb the challenges the government in revenue generation in the metropolis.
This research is undertaken to proffer solutions to the problems identified in the revenue collection and management in order to provide a sound financial base. A combination of Structured Systems Analysis and Design Methodology (SSADM) and Object-Oriented Analysis and Design Methodology (OOADM) was deployed to develop a feature rich software program called Computerized Revenue Management System. The application was developed using MySQL database platform as backend and Java as front end. The implementation of the application resulted in the elimination of the identified problems.
1.1 Background to the Study
Over the past decades, the Government of Nigeria had primarily re-oriented the development agenda of the country. Major policy reforms and measures to restructure the public administration system targeted at the creation of political, economic, social, spatial territorial and environmental balance for sustainable growth with development were introduced (Badu, 2007). Since 1957, district assemblies have been required to finance local development programmes with revenue generated at in their area of jurisdiction but this fiscal decentralization programme of the central government to delegate fiscal obligations to the local councils to undertake development projects became a major challenge as a result of lack of investment capital at the local level (Baffour, 2008).
In the late 1960‟s and early 1970‟s however, the decentralized system was reformulated into a frontier structure consisting of regional, district and local councils and town and village committees. In 1988, the government of Nigeria finally embarked on the implementation of a comprehensive policy to decentralize the system of government by transferring public authority, resources and personnel from the central government authority to regional and district jurisdictions. This policy was backed by the Local Government Law, 1998(PNDCL 207).
The decentralization policy presented five sources of revenue to the district assemblies and these included the District Assemblies‟ Common Fund (DACF), ceded revenue, internally generated fund through local taxation, loans, permits, among others, and from other sources like sale of lands. The DACF is the primary source providing a constitutionally stipulated minimum share of government revenue. The ceded revenue deals with a number of lesser tax fields that central government has ceded to the district assemblies. Entertainment duty, casino revenue, betting tax, advertisement tax and others by the Nigeria Internal Revenue Service are examples of ceded revenue available to the district assemblies (Ayee, 2003).
Local government usually provides administrative, fiscal, and other public services and amenities to local residents. In highly unitary centralized states, such as France and Great Britain, local government enjoys only limited powers in the area of initiating and implementing policies, as a result of inadequate funds and lack of autonomy. Although the decentralization process has been regarded by many as a basic underpinning tool for national democracy and development, district assemblies are ill fitted to resist any encroachment on its powers by the central government (NALAG, 2005).
The thrust of the decentralized policy has been to promote popular participation and ownership of government machinery by shifting the system of governance from command to consultation and by devolving power and resources to the community level. In line with the policy, the local governments introduced several activities and programmes aimed at increasing local revenue such as raising of rate levels and expansion of revenue instruments. However, the majority of the district revenues generated from these sources were woefully inadequate to support administrative and other recurrent expenditure much more to finance the delivery and running of basic infrastructure and services needed by the local communities (Badu, 2007).
The mobilization and generation of revenue at the local level are carried out using the manual processes which make it difficult to track the progress of the district in the area of revenue generation. The issues regarding the use of ICT in revenue mobilization and the challenges encountered in enhancing local revenue generation are contained in the next sub section.
1.2 Statement of the Problem
The sources of finances available to district municipal and metropolitan assemblies are as follow: fees, property rates, tolls, court charges, registration fees, and market tolls, fine for stray animals, artisans and vocational fees, building permits fees, stalls levy, basic rates, lorry park tolls among others. Though district assemblies have extensive sources of revenue, however, due to several responsibilities and lack of modern ways of tracking revenue generation, this has posed a big problem to the amount and levels of revenue mobilized. It has resulted in some ugly situations whereby
- Local districts are generally recognized as having fragile financial standing
- Local governments have little fiscal independence, remaining overwhelmingly dependent on central government for its financial resources, with limited revenue raising ability
- There is lack of investible capital at the sub national level and lack of appropriate technologies and tools to raise revenue locally.
- There is fragile revenue collection system due the use of outdated techniques and methods (Uche and Ayo2008).
This research therefore seeks to enhanced revenue levels of local authorities through appropriate modern technology such as the Information Communication Technology (ICT).
1.3 Objectives of the Study
The main objective of this study is to design and develop a computerized revenue management system from business premises.
To achieve the stated objective, the following objectives were laid out.
- To review the manually dominated internal revenue processing system currently in use at the Board of internal Revenue with a view to discover problems areas.
- Develop a secured and centralized database which can be accessed from anywhere in the world, providing access to only authorized users
- To design a software application module that will accomplish the following:
- Prepare monthly statement of account from various revenue sources.
- Automatically calculate total revenue from different revenue sources within an Area office and forward the total to head office.
- Prepare yearly statement of account and reconciliation.
- Produce scheduled monthly report on State revenue
- Ensure adherence to established procedure
1.4 Scope of the Study
This study focuses on the Onitsha Metropolitan Area in Anambra. This place is chosen because of the evident of the phenomenon under investigation and the challenges the assembly is facing with regard to revenue mobilization.
The central location of the metropolis and its strategic role coupled with the rapid growth in population and economic activities make the city a better place for the study.
The quality of utilization of the information communication technology in the metropolis with respect to generating and increasing the revenue base of the assembly would be investigated, with the impacts of information communication technology on revenue generation examined. Notwithstanding, issues relating to the importance of increased revenue generation on the development of the metropolitan area would be researched into.
1.5 Significance of the Study
This study on information communication technology and its impacts on enhancing local revenue generation would augment the body of knowledge in several ways.
First, it would inform local authorities, policy makers and the government on the relevance of the information communication technology in the mobilization of revenue in the metropolis and other district assemblies.
Secondly, a critical assessment and understanding of information communication technology in the Onitsha metropolitan area would lead to the development of effective strategies of developing the metropolis through increase revenue generation and mobilization. Also, information communication technology is in covenant with sustainable and responsible generation and use of internally generated revenue, hence this study would lead to the identification and appreciation of modern revenue generation techniques through information communication technology.
This study seeks to unravel ways of enhancing revenue generation through information communication technology thereby ensuring sustainable development of the metropolis. When information communication technology is adequately embraced and implemented in the metropolis, the several revenue generation and management challenges confronting the metropolitan assembly, which needs much to be desired, would be improved. This is because issues concerning weak revenue collection, poor records keeping and inefficient use of revenue that are associated with district assemblies would be addressed satisfactorily through effective utilization of information communication technology.
Nigeria, particularly Onitsha Metropolitan Assembly, has implemented several revenue related policies over the past decades and the study would add to the existing literature on information communication technology for the efficient management of District Assemblies.
1.6 Limitation of the Study
Most constraint experienced during the course of writing this project is during the data collection. Conducting questionnaires and interviews with traders and revenue collectors was not easy task.
Secondly, finance was not at my side. Travelling to and from Onitsha was costly since I am not from that region. Also due to confidentiality of information and the limitations above, research covers only the objectives stated above. Whatever is left out is as a result of the stated limitations.
1.7 Organization of the Study
This study has been organized in five chapters. Chapter one introduces the work and provides discussions on the problem statement, scope of the study, research questions, research objectives. Chapter two reviewed relevant literature from different sources on the issue being investigated into. In Chapter three the research methodology adopted for the study is being discussed. The chapter four highlights on the research data collected and the analysis and discussions made. The major findings, recommendations, and conclusion for the entire study have been presented in Chapter five.
1.8 Definition of Terms
The use of information and communication technologies in generating income from a business or area.
The movement of departments of a large organization away from a single administrative center to other locations.
Conclusion and Recommendations
Economic Growth Monitoring is an important aspect of any developing country particularly Nigeria. The Federal Ministry of Finance which is in the position to monitor and forecast Economic Growth has for some time now been running their office activities manually as this project demonstrates that computer can actually eradicate some abnormalities in Economic Growth Monitoring system in the Federal Ministry of Finance. This led to the design of a computer-based solution for Economic Growth monitoring system that will help to forecast economic growth properly
Due to the numerous difficulties involved in computerizing a manual system, it is imperative that the analyst commences with an explicit and unambiguous definition of the functions, objectives and limitations of the current system. This is so because it is easy to lose sight of the actual direction the study should follow when buried under a heap of tedious tasks. Though computers provide a lot of flexibility, I nonetheless recommend and pronounced them as a remedy to the economic growth monitoring sections in federal ministry of finance’s short comings.
However, as the study advanced, so did the conviction grow that any hypothesis was consistent with the result obtained. I am therefore confident in stating that Federal Ministry of Finance needs a more realistic computerization if it is going to be capable of performing at efficient levels.
However, as a result of Time constraint, I was unable to carry along every department available in the Ministry; so I am of the opinion that this work be assigned to other students so they can work on other part of this work.
In that view, I recommend that the safety of information within the Economic Growth Monitoring System be ensured in a systematic manner. Adequate means of “backup” disc files should be done at each run time. Preferably, the backup process should be done during the update routine and the resulting files dumped onto a secondary storage device. Hence, when any of the files in use are lost or accidentally destroyed, the update program can be used to retrieve the duplicate stored in the back-up.
The researcher also hereby recommends that the federal ministry of finance turn to Electronic Data processing (EDP) systems
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