As part of the Lagos State Government’s strategic vision to embrace a digital future through the adoption of innovative technology and processes across all spheres of governance and public-sector service delivery, His Excellency, the Executive Governor of Lagos State Mr. Akinwunmi Ambode announced on Monday, February 19 that effective from the 1st of March 2018, the State Government will fully digitize revenue collection in partnership with Interswitch.
In announcing this strategic partnership with Interswitch, which is reputed to be one of Nigeria’s leading financial technology and electronic payment drivers, Governor Ambode stated that the government’s vision is to actualize extensive adoption of electronic channels in the payment of taxes, levies and other government payments.
This is with a view to expeditiously improve on the effectiveness of service delivery to residents of the State whilst ensuring greater accountability in line with the vision of the current administration in Lagos State.
In his statement announcing of the partnership, Governor Ambode revealed that “to ensure that the government improves on the quality of service delivery to our people, effective 1st March 2018, no payment or taxes will be made by cash henceforth across the State. Tax payers should be able to pay all legitimate taxes and bills through all payment channels at their own time and convenience. The transaction process is now going to be everyday, anytime and on weekends.”
Elucidating further on what informed the Lagos State Government’s resolution to partner with Interswitch to digitize payments and collections in Lagos, Governor Ambode added that “Interswitch has been at the forefront of efficient and secure public sector payments and collections at National and State levels for quite a while now, and we are confident in their ability to provide strong support and the state-of-the-art payment infrastructure, comparable to such obtainable anywhere in the world as well as the capabilities required to facilitate seamless implementation of this policy in a state like Lagos.”
Interswitch has equally expressed a commitment to providing omni-channel payment infrastructure which will facilitate seamless transaction processes in revenue collection to make it easy and convenient for the good people of Lagos who can now pay every day, any time and online. In a statement credited to Interswitch’s founder and Group Chief Executive Officer, Mitchell Elegbe, “Over the last few years, we have invested extensively in building and continuously developing a variety of payment channels which facilitate real-time transaction through any means desirable by all parties within the payment process. Our vision at Interswitch is an Africa where payment becomes a seamless part of our everyday lives, and we are resolutely committed to working with Lagos State to embrace a fully digital future, in line with our resolve to continue to create digital transaction solutions that enable individuals and communities prosper across Africa.”
In view of this partnership with the LASG, government payments will now be possible through multiple channels including physical payments in any branch of any bank, and using Interswitch solutions such as Interswitch Paydirect, Interswitch Payment Gateway, Quickteller Paypoint, and Mobile Apps/USSD codes of LASG MDAs, thereby encouraging real-time cashless payments directly to the State Treasury.
Observers have lauded this development as a welcome breakthrough in public sector finance, accountability and service-delivery as it essentially underscores the unwavering and forward-thinking dynamism of the Lagos State Government, with effective public-private collaboration at its heart.
Interswitch is extremely delighted to collaborate on this partnership and is excited to embark on a fruitful and constructive relationship with the Government. A statement from the company avers that “Going into the implementation of this, Interswitch will ensure that the full-breadth of our multi-layer platforms would henceforth be deployed for use by all government Ministries, Agencies, Parastatals, Associated Companies and Units.
Interswitch is also committed to continuous innovation to ensure the provision of new and easier payment channels, particularly leveraging such platforms as direct payment from mobile phones. To facilitate the required awareness, enlightenment and consumer education across all segments of the population across the state, Interswitch is also fully committed to working very closely with the LASG and its relevant agencies with a view to driving adoption and uptake, from the perspective of all stakeholders who need to be engaged – the state civil service and MDAs as well as businesses operating within the state, general public etc.”
Interswitch is an Africa-focused integrated digital payments and commerce company that facilitates the electronic circulation of money as well as the exchange of value between individuals and organizations on a timely and consistent basis. The company provides convenience and value for consumers while reducing costs, improving operational efficiency and driving sustainable revenue growth for institutions. Interswitch currently operates in Nigeria, Gambia, Kenya and Uganda with ambitious expansion plans into more markets on as well as areas in the Eastern part of the African continent.