Address grey areas in eCitizen system

Wednesday, February 7th, 2024 06:33 | By
eCitizen logo. PHOTO/eCitizen/Facebook.
eCitizen logo. PHOTO/eCitizen/Facebook.

The Ruto administration has heightened its push for a centralised payment system of all government services.

The eCitizen, the system has been hailed as a landmark development expected to transform public service delivery.

Proponents say the move is part of a larger digitalisation initiative aimed at streamlining processes, fostering transparency, and minimizing corruption through reduced physical contact between citizens and intermediaries.

Kenyans can now access a wide range of essential services with ease, significantly reducing bureaucracy and enhancing their overall experience as well as reducing the burden of carrying loads of cash to make physical payments.

This digital revolution has set the stage for a future where technology plays a pivotal role in shaping a more inclusive, accessible and accountable public service system.

 After on-boarding all government agencies and parastatals on the eCitizen platform, the Kenya Kwanza administration last week directed national schools to pay fees through the platform.

According to the circular from Education ministry, eCitizen’s fee payment would eliminate unnecessary levies not in the approved fee guideline.

 The government has been banking on the average 5,000 new users who sign up to eCitizen daily, in addition to the 11 million eCitizen existing users, and the on-boarding of more services to further increase its daily revenue collection.

But even as the government moves on with the eCitizen payment system, it needs to come clear over some emerging grey areas.

 Most online government services have always experienced hitches, with several Kenyans voicing their frustrations over server delays and unavailability of services from essential agencies such as the NTSA, KRA, DCI and Immigration.

 Various government websites have also been vulnerable to cyber attackers in the recent past. There have also been complaints over difficulties in securing the eCitizen portal. The ministry of Lands had to issue an alert last July over illegal land searches and title deed breaches on the platform, which essentially calls for “credible cyber security.”

There is growing concern over the Sh50 convenience fee charged for every service in addition to the transaction fee by mobile service providers.

Besides this, the government must address hitches in its e-payment systems.

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