As state governments continue to grapple with the consequences of reduced revenues’ accruable from the federal allocation, the need for innovation with internal revenue generation cannot be over emphasized. The current situation presents an opportunity for state governments and federal governments to look towards resuscitating dormant revenue sources bothering on ‘compliance’ as a veritable source of revenue, though most decision makers in government like to draw a line between the collection of fines from defaulters and revenue generation seeking to differentiate both and not wanting to acknowledge that fines paid by defaulters are indeed revenue to government.

The fact however is that fines paid by citizens for non –compliance with certain laws and statues of the state is indeed revenue to the state. In other jurisdictions, funds generated from fines are channeled towards specific projects that are directly or indirectly related to the laws that were contravened, based on which fines were paid.

Let us consider the road traffic sector in Nigeria for instance. There are different revenue headers that could impact governments Internally Generated Revenue (IGR) majorly, but a lack of compliance has led to less than average performance of this sector in terms of its contribution to IGR of the state. In line with road traffic laws which every driver is meant to comply with, A driver shouldn’t get on the road without valid vehicle documentation which include; a vehicle license, proof of ownership, valid 3rd party insurance at a minimum, Certificate of Roadworthiness valid for 6 months for privately owned vehicles and 1 year for vehicles registered to companies or businesses and MOT. The driver should also be in possession of a valid driver’s licenses. The situation however, is that most vehicle owners renew their vehicle documentation or authenticate same only to enable them evade police checkpoints. So taking Lagos as a case study, most residents won’t renew or authenticate their vehicle documentation except there is a need to travel out of Lagos with the vehicle. In few cases, vehicle owners even prefer to ‘talk their way through’ checkpoints rather than authenticate their documents. This impacts the state in a number of ways –

  1. Loss of revenue accruable through vehicle registration.
  2. Loss of revenue accruable through renewals/authentication of vehicle particulars.
  3. Loss of verifiable data on motor vehicles plying state roads (This impacts security and denies law enforcement teams access to data required for intelligence gathering and crime investigations).
  4. Compromises the overall security of state or city as it concerns the lives and property of its residents.

Having identified the value of motor vehicle data with License plate information as unique identifier, investing in Automatic License Plate Readers for collating License Plate data has grown in popularity over the last 10 years, with governments, counties and communities investing in the deployment of ALPR networks for detection of liscence plate data of vehicles operating within their jurisdiction. With this network, law enforcement agencies are able to enforce road traffic laws , leading to an upsurge in revenues accruable to the state through compliance with various revenue headings associated with Road Traffic laws while keeping the state or jurisdiction safe from crimes perpetrated using motor vehicles which include robberies, kidnapping, bank robberies , car jacking’s  and other felonies. Over all, the society wins and is better for it.

Chidiebere Anosike is a Telecom/ICT consultant with Ingres Quality Rollouts Limited.
Twitter – @ingresqr
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