The Immigration Department has said the ongoing reforms which the organisation is implementing have started producing good results following revelations that the department has collected K3 billion in the last four months.
Director General of Immigration and Citizenship Services Masauko Medi made the remarks in Mangochi, when his organisation held a review meeting of the Malawi Passport Issuance System (PIS) project which is being implemented jointly with Techno Brain.
Medi expressed optimism that the department will surpass the K6 billion target which it was given by the Ministry of Finance for July 2016 to June 30 2017, saying the department has the potential to collect above K10 billion by the end of the current financial year.
Despite this achievement, Medi said the department is not realising its full potential in terms of revenue collection because it has no enough centres where its services are offered across the country.
“However, with the reforms, we hope we will start issuing our services to more centres which in turn will help to increase our revenue base. Additional two offices will be opened in Mangochi and in the Northern Region as soon as possible because it has shown that we have more people applying for passports from these areas,” Medi said.
He, therefore, appealed to the Treasury Department to consider releasing funds to complete refurbishment of Mangochi eastern regional offices so that the project can be completed as soon as possible.
Minister of Home Affairs and Internal Security Grace Chiumia commended the Department of Immigration for improving its revenue collection.
Chiumia flirted with the idea of making the department independent of government’s funding, which she said will help to improve the department’s performances.
“We will discuss with the Treasury Department to explore means which we can allow the Department of Immigration to retain some of the money it collects as a long-term measure to make the department financially independent,” Chiumia said.
This idea, the minster said, will also help government to wean off some of the affiliated departments that receive funding from government, but they generate their own income.
“As a country, we can also reduce our national budget by making some of these departments financially independent because they will be able to run as private entities and they will be submitting money to government in the form of loyalties or taxes,” suggested the Minister.
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