Zero Fees for Select Services, Access to Kitty: Developer Behind eCitizen Breaks Down Consolidated Platform


James Ayugi, the developer behind the virtual government service delivery platform eCitizen has explained that funds collected in the single government paybill account 222222, will only be accessed by the Treasury.

In an interview on Sunday, Ayugi elaborated that individual Ministries, Departments and Government Agencies (MDAs) were locked out from direct access to the funds.

He further explained that they only have access to view the funds deposited to enable them to discharge the services paid for by a citizen.

Additionally, Ayugi clarified that the funds cannot be withdrawn by anyone and can only be disbursed to relevant government accounts.

Boxes laid out during admission to high school (left) and the front page of eCitizen platform.

Photo

Education Ministry/eCitizen

“Even the President, he cannot withdraw anything, he has no powers, I also do not have those powers,” stated Ayugi

According to Ayugi, the development team and any other entity are only privy to access the visibility of the areas that are relevant for them to discharge their service mandate as set by law.

“The National Treasury has visibility of how much each and every MDA has collected in real-time. You don’t have to wait 2 years down the line, and when you are accounting for it, they already know how much you have collected,” stated Ayugi.

While addressing the issue of convenience fees to access services on the platform which were gazetted by the Treasury, in December 2023,  he confirmed that some services were zero-rated.

Some of the zero-rated services include; payment of University fees, ferry fees among others.

Payment of services through the single paybill number has so far been critiqued with various stakeholders questioning why the government has opted to funnel all payments via one channel.

On Saturday, February 3, the Ministry of Education announced that all national high school fee payments would be made through the paybill with county and extra county schools also expected to channel their fee payments through the platform in due course.

A few days later, the government also announced that University of Nairobi (UoN) students would pay for various services including meals through the platform.

However, the announcement caused an uproar with Kenyans stating that the cost of the convenience fees exceeded that of the meals paid, a statement that was contradicted by the students who had actually used the service.

A photo of the University of Nairobi Main Campus

Photo

University of Nairobi





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