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Taxpreneurship: Innovating process improvement with automation

 

The fact that the world is characterized as volatile, uncertain, complex and ambiguous (VUCA) is no longer in doubt, as we see today the manifestations of these characteristics in people, organizations and states. But in the midst of these manifestations, the society is continuously making demands on us that requires consistent growth and improvements in all activities, be they public or private sector, products or service delivery. A major fact that cannot be contested is that the resources required to deliver these demands of the people continue to dwindle by the day. Within the limits of these constraints, the society is still very expectant of even more and better service and products. Therefore, we remained saddled with the responsibility of solving this recurring problem of meeting the societal needs with the constrained resources.
From the perspective of a tax administrator, innovating the service delivery process is one sure way to accomplish or meet the yearnings of the people and the government. How do we ensure that the people are better served, as the convenience of payment is significant in this age and time that the taxpayer has to be met at his space. We cannot but be innovative in process and service delivery, and this can only be achieved through the automation of payments and collection processes. There are diverse developments in technology that are available and adaptable to the processes involved in revenue and tax collection and we have to begin to look into how to make this work for us in the drive for growth of revenue collection. More importantly is the efficiency advantage of the automation processes which when fully adopted makes life more convenient for all.
We have experimented with the automation of some of our services, and have realized, through the results obtained, that the way to go is to target full automation over a period of time. For instance, in January 2016, we developed an automation process for pilgrims (both Muslims and Christians) and popularized the process. This is already in it third year and it has been hitch free, with testimonies of convenience and success, year in year out. Also in the same year, the citizenship certification process was automated without any significant hitch, and it is another success story. These have more than encouraged us that the public service revenue process can also be automated, hence the target for automation of the MDAs revenue collection process in the State beginning from January 2018.
The State Government have given its full support to this, with the necessary backings and pronouncements and the Service is rolling out, as plans are underway to ensure that this exercise becomes another success story for the State. We are in a modern world, and the sustainability of any reform is believed to be dependent on the institutionalization processes and the applicability of those processes.
Based on our taxpreneurship concept;
–    We have engaged and iterated with the stakeholders and consumers of our services  (the MDAs) as we will continue to observe their behaviour and expectations so that we can design the appropriate automation process that will endure,
–    We have flex our assets such that we can remain flexible to meet the requirements of the consumers, even to the extent of making tailor made processes for service delivery, and this we will continue to do,
–    We have created sustainable solutions that will be waste free, and will be re-applicable to similar and related customers, and stand the test of time in a cradle-to-cradle format,
–     We have shaped our customers’ behaviour; by ensuring that we affect the way our customers think, feel and behave to properly position and communicate the aspirational value of our frugal solutions,
–    We have co-created value with prosumers so as to accommodate the tech-savvy generation making them evolve from their passive position to an active involvement in the design and creation of solutions that will meet their needs and expectations,
–    We have made innovative friends; by collaborating with external partners in the frugal innovation drive, more than depending on our own internal abilities and capacities alone, and
–    We have fostered a frugal innovation culture within the Service to ensure that all staff and management not only understand this as the way to go, but get bought into the vision and begin to run with it for the sustainable development of the Revenue Service.
With the above steps taken, we hope to grow the revenue of Kwara State by doing more with less through process innovation and automation that will be sustainable through our taxpreneurship concept.

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