South Sudan owes EALA about $40M in arrears
South Sudan owes the East Africa Legislative Assembly (EALA) close to $40 million in arrears.
South Sudan has paid just once, the annual subscription fee since joining the regional parliament, five years ago.
According to Dr Ann Itto, the chairperson of South Sudan EALA Chapter, the country owes the block $41.7 million in arrears.
“If you put together our contribution over the last five years, we covered [paid] for one full year; meaning that there are four more years which have not been covered [paid],” said Itto.
South Sudan is obligated to pay an annual subscription fee of $8.4 million to the body.
But according to Itto, this has been done just once ever since Juba joined the East Africa Community.
“The gist of the matter is accumulation of nonpayment that has brought us to that kind of arrears. We owe about 39 million dollars to the EALA,” she added.
East Africa community is an inter-governmental organization meaning that the nine South Sudan legislatures continue to draw salaries from contributions of other member states.
EAC is made up of South Sudan, Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania, Rwanda, Burundi and most recently DR Congo.
Itto said that delayed remittance of South Sudan contribution not only brings “shame” to the country, but also creates a deficit in the block’s budget.
She was speaking at the SPLM House.
“How would you feel if you live as a family, where everyone contributes food, but you don’t, yet you eat together with them,” posed the legislature.
“If one member state does not pay, it means that towards the end of the year, there won’t be enough money to cover the planned activities,” added Itto, a former SPLM acting Secretary General.
She was accompanied by Hon Bol Makueng, the South Sudan Foreign Relations.