Systemic Corruption: Audit Report reveals Kiir’s office, Supreme Airlines, Equity bank as illegal Oil-money beneficiaries
South Sudan’s National Audit Chamber has said in a report that the office of President Salva Kiir Mayardit, Supreme Airlines, Equity bank as illegal oil-money beneficiaries. According to the seen by NCMP, Kiir’s office received – in 2016 – at least $1.3 million for reasons unknown to the independent body.
Also, the privately-owned South Supreme Airline is among companies and entities that have illegally benefited from money meant for oil-producing states in South Sudan.
Recently, a new report has suggested that more than 200 children were born with deformities caused by suspected environmental pollution in the oilfields. In a correspondence by Eye Radio and also published by NCMP, Dr. Bior said that their assessment discovered that the provisions of the Petroleum Act 2012 have not been implemented by oil companies.
The reason why the petroleum Act 2012 can not be implemented is clearly obvious with the audit report recently released. The Oil-producing states have been deprived of their rights for almost a decade now. Not only that, the entire region have been completely neglected. The Oil company are operating with any regulations or standards followed because of the systemic corruption in the sector.
The systemic looting of public funds in South Sudan by government officials has crippled the country and affected its development and delivery of services to the people. It’s important to say in this point that, corruption by the top leadership and government officials not only leads to a general absence of purposes and commitment to the country’s programs but also fans the growth of corruption in the lower layers of the authority
The corruption scandal presented to the Council of State on Wednesday by the Ad-hoc Committee said the payment of over $50 million, part of 2% and 3% share of net oil revenue to oil-producing states, had been made to individuals and business entities by the Ministry of Finance and Economic Planning.
The entities include the office of the president $1,300,000 million, South Sudan Supreme Airline $ 4,130,000, and Equity Bank $4,000,000. According to the Petroleum Management Act 2013, the ministry of finance is required to transfer 2% and 3% share of oil money to accounts of oil-producing states. Instead of doing what the law requires, the ministry of finance directed the payments to entities not stipulated in the act.
The Ministry of Finance in South Sudan is living in an endemic corruption that reached unexpected levels, which require an urgent intervention for reform, using appropriate measures that will pave the way towards fighting and combating corruption and the perceived mismanagement of the public fund in the country.
For instance, in the Report of the Auditor-General on 2% and 3% share of net oil revenue of oil-producing states and communities for 2011 to 2020 period seen by NCMP, the Ministry of Finance and Planning directed payment against two accounts entities not stipulated in Petroleum Management Act 2013 and without authorization of relevant state governors or Chief Administrator of Ruweng Administrative Area and communities of oil-producing states.
It’s unfortunate to admit that this is not the case in South Sudan’s Ministry of Finance and Economic Planning, despite the proliferation of laws and institutions such as the Audit Chamber, Fiscal Financial Allocation Commission, and Anti-Corruption. Since its establishment in 2005, the Ministry of Finance in South Sudan has plunged into endemic corruption and mass financial mismanagement, particularly in the field of public procurement.
The report accused the ministry of finance of withdrawing money in bank accounts of oil producing states without authorization from state authorities.
The Audit report clearly indicated that the Ministry of Finance and Planning deposited a total of $60 million to oil-producing communities’ accounts at the Bank of South Sudan between 2014 and December 2020. Of this $59 million has been withdrawn leaving a balance of $597,238.93 as of December 16, 2020. Of the withdrawals made from the 3% account, $50 million has been made to non-beneficiaries.
The mismanagement of public funds and deficiencies of the public procurement at the Ministry of Finance of the Republic of South Sudan has been perceived for a long time.
Most South Sudanese see the Revitalized Agreement of the Resolution of Conflict in South Sudan, which was signed in 2018 as a window of opportunity to implement much-needed reforms with respect to management and allocation of public funds.
Hopefully this hope will materialize one day.