…LASG Appoints Private Revenue Collector
All tertiary institutions in Lagos are to enrol on the platform of a private firm – Payment Technology Limited (Paytech) – for the collection of their internally generated revenues by latest September 30.
Contrary to existing practices, the new firm is proposing 10 per cent charges on all transactions done at the schools.
According to the firm’s proposal, while five per cent of every transaction will serve as ‘administrative’ charges, another five per cent of total monthly remittances will be deducted as the firm’s commission.
Lagos State Governor, Mr. Babajide Sanwo-Olu, gave the directive to the heads of the various institutions through letters recently addressed to them.
In one of the letters dated September 8, the head of the concerned institution was mandated to forward the agreement signed with the company to the government on or before September 11.
The letter, which was signed by the Special Adviser on Education (SAE) to Mr. Sanwo-Olu, Tokunbo Wahab, reads in part; “As you may recall, Payment Technology Limited (PAYTECH) has been appointed as the consultant on revenue collection automation within the Lagos tertiary institutions and shall deploy a management information system (MIS) that that will facilitate the automation and independent e-monitoring of revenue collection that will promote accountability, transparency, and integrity, thus boost internally generated revenue (IGR).”
Another letter, which is dated September 21, and also signed by Mr. Wahab, is titled; “Re: Lagos State Tertiary Institution Revenue Collection,” was copied to all heads of the various institutions and the commissioner for economic planning and budget, and establishment, training and pensions.
The new letter said: “full automation of your internally generated revenue with PAYTECH should commence latest by the same date, 30th September, 2020.”
The letter added that failure to comply with the directive “shall attract stiff sanctions”.
The affected institutions include the Lagos State School of Nursing, Lagos State College of Health Technology, Lagos State Polytechnic (LASPOTECH), Lagos State University (LASU), Adeniran Ogunsanya College of Education (AOCOED), and Michael Otedola College of Primary Education (MOCPED).
According to the proposal, the new platform being introduced by the company will ensure that relevant authorities, including the governor, offices of the state’s accountant general and auditor-general and the heads of various institutions, “monitor, real-time, how monies are being paid into the various institutions’ accounts”.
However, according to the various ‘stakeholders’, instead of the flat rates of between N300 and N400 currently paid as bank or “remitta” charges on all transactions regardless of amounts involved, the new charges will now be five per cent of the amount transacted.
A senior official at one of the concerned ministries, who does not want to be named, said: “Students of LASPOTECH who used to pay about N300 as bank charges on N21,000 school fee they currently pay, will now be charged more than N1,000 as charges for using the new platform.”
“In LASU, the stream two students who are meant to pay N150,000 as school fees will now be charged N7,500 as transaction charges payable to PAYTECH instead of N415 currently charged by Systemspecs being used by the university,” the source added.
The source said “many patrons of some of the services provided by the institutions which are said to form the bulk of internally generated revenues for these institutions may have to stop further transactions with the institutions.”
Another official at one of the tertiary institutions, who asked not to be named for fear of sanctions, described the new system as a scam.
“For instance, a customer who patronises some of these institutions by buying products such as drinks, and other services like consultancies, that need to pay as much as N5 million, will now have to cough out as much as N250,000 as charges. And you think such a customer would remain?”
Meanwhile, the Managing Director of PAYTECH, Folake Bank-Anthony, said since the new innovation aims at addressing issues of accountability, probity and transparency, “the charges will be worth it.”
Bank-Anthony explained that the initiative will ensure “an astronomical increase in the institutions’ revenues”.
Mrs. Bank-Anthony said what her company was bringing to the table is a special innovation that requires special technology, and so “there should be payment for the service.”Follow us on social media