January 11, 2017 (BOR) - Jonglei state lawmakers are investigating processes that led to an unauthorized loan of up to 27 million SSP.
- South Sudanese pounds being exchanged (UN)
The deputy speaker of the state assembly, Alier Maler, said money was withdrawn from the state treasury, without parliament knowing.
Jonglei’s workforce consists of an estimated 5,000 employees. Salaries meant to cover these staff are above 6m pound, monthly.
According to Maler, to cover up the gap, the ministry of finance allegedly claimed to have borrowed loan of 6 million from the commercial bank without approval from the assembly in August.
The minister was thus summoned to appear on Thursday last week.
“We summoned the minister to tell us the purpose for which the money was borrowed. He said the money was used to top up the salaries for the employees”, explained the deputy speaker.
Members of parliament were, however, not convinced with what new finance minister, James Akech presented, and was rescheduled to appear again before MPs within the month to answer questions.
Apart from the 6million that parliament heard about, the lawmakers were also informed about the total liability that the government had accumulated over time, which had amounted to about 27 million.
No single approval was granted by the parliament, as the law requires.
“If there is a lot of money that needs to be borrowed from another institution, like the commercial bank, there must be approval from the assembly, but this was not done, we don’t know about it. We also asked to see if there was approval from the council of ministers, we want to know this huge money was approved by whom?” he asked.
He added, “There is no single person that can approval this money, it is a lot of money for the state. And where will the state get money to pay it [loan] back?”.
During the questioning session of the minister, the bank overdraft and the loan appeared confusing to members of the state parliament.
“Loan and overdraft were contradicting, so it was not clear. We want to have credit advice about the money that comes from Juba, we don’t know if it is not enough as they claim, but we have not reach that stage, we are still on the process”, said Maler.
“This 27 million, how does it come? So we asked the ministry to put it in details, we are not sure about the liabilities which they said, what are they? What happened till they sum up to 27 million? So the assembly needed more clarification from the ministry of finance”, added.