The Immigration Department says it is struggling to provide adequate services and meet their revenue collection targets after the government reduced its budget allocation.
Immigration Department Public Relations Officer, Joseph Chauwa, told The Daily Times on Friday that government reduced their budgetary allocation to K455 million from K466 million despite raising the department’s collection target from K4.2 billion to K6.9 billion in the 2016/2017 financial year.
Chauwa said the allocation is important for their operations as it caters for utility bills, fuel, general maintenance works and stationery among others.
“The allocation we have been given this year is on the lower side compared to that of last year although we have been given a higher target. We are trying as a department to meet the target but it is not easy with little resources,” he said.
Chauwa said due to the reduction, the department is failing to meet the needs of its clients such as production of passports and conduct border patrols and sweeping exercises to collect enough revenue.
“There are times that we do not have resources to quickly produce passports and we force applicants to apply for ordinary passports instead of express ones because we want to buy time. We end up losing revenue because ordinary passports are obviously cheaper than express ones,” he said.
Chauwa also said the department has a shortage of vehicles.
He said they only have 26 vehicles out of the required 80, six of which have broken down. This, he said negatively affects their operations because their work involves moving around enforcing payments.
Chauwa asked the government to consider allowing the department to retain either service processing fees or a percentage of their collections to ease the problem.
“Other departments are allowed to retain a certain percentage of their collections but we deposit everything into the Account Number 1. If we start keeping a certain percentage of our collections, we can have enough resources and perform even better,” he said.
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