Dr Igga calls for joint fight against corruption

Dr Igga calls for joint fight against corruption
The Vice President of Economic Cluster James Wani Igga. [Photo: City Review]

The Vice President for Economic Cluster, Dr James Wani Igga, has said that combating corruption is pivotal to transforming and stabilising the country.

Igga spoke during the Government-Donor Public Financial Management Reforms (PFM-RS) consultative meeting organized by the Ministry of Finance under the theme, “A call for strengthened partnership in a quest for effective Public Finance Management Reforms.”

The Vice President stressed that corruption should be addressed to ensure that there is a reduction in the level of poverty in society. He said this is basically to ensure that there is transparency and accountability in the distribution of resources, and public expenditures.

“The fight against corruption, is particularly important, it impacts the poorest sections of society and generally benefits those already in positions of power,” he noted.

He stressed that the fight against graft was key in the implementation of the Public Financial Management Reforms, and for development to be realised.

“Without reducing corruption, all development goals will be severely compromised. So in the heart of all these are combating corruption.”

According to Igga, his cluster was always accused by the public over misuse of public funds,  but he stressed that accounting officers are working in all the government institutions, hence, they must be held accountable for malpractices.

“I think we can now begin to dwell on a steady promotion of the economy spearheaded by an effective development,” he added.

“We must strengthen the parliamentary oversight of public expenditure. The public accuses us. We must hold the accounting officers accountable.”

Fighting corruption

In November 2021, the national Minister for Finance and Planning, Agak Achuil Lual, cautioned government officials to desist from submission of fake financial requests to his ministry, during his reception in his ministry after his inauguration.

“I am not here in this ministry to fight but to work and make sure that the economy improves. We need to work as a team to improve the economy. We need to stabilise the economy so that prices of commodities stabilise in the markets,” Agak said.

He urged them to join him in fighting corruption to stabilise the dwindling economy the country had been grappling with.

The ministry further warned the National Revenue Authority against the misuse of government funds in the collection accounts.

“The national revenue authority was created to collect the taxes. It is not a spending agency. All the money should be collected and I will be the one to release it. Do not take the money from the collection account,” he warned.

 “I will do the reform and I will start from where they have stopped because the reform does not belong to the International Monitory Fund or World Bank. It’s our reform.”

On his swearing ceremony in November 2021, President Salva Kiir Mayardit directed Agak not to follow in the footsteps of his predecessors by siphoning public funds into accounts in foreign countries.

The President further directed him to be paying the civil servants and the organized forces without any delay.

 “Make sure that all the civil servants and the organized forces are paid monthly.” If you do that, it is not only you who has helped yourself, you have also helped me, and you have helped the people of South Sudan,’’ the President warned as he delivered his statement after the swearing-in of ministers.

The current finance minister, Agak Achuil Lual, is the ninth official to serve in the institution since independence on July 9, 2011.

Last month, the University of Juba took to the streets demanding their six months salaries, but the ministry of finance, released and paid their three months salaries, after which they called off the strike.