The Government of South Sudan has conducted Non-Oil Revenue Mobilization Conference to manage resources and improve the country’s economic growth.
The first symposium about resources management in the Unity government was attended by President Kiir Mayardit, government officials, and international partners.
An event was organized by National Revenue Authority officially to establish a common understanding of the role, particularly the State Revenue Authorities. Commissioner General Hon led the session. Patrick Mugoya.
President Salva Kiir Mayardit said the conference is an opportunity to address the challenges of overlapping jurisdiction in revenue collection, including refocusing on mobilizing non-oil revenue as a critical factor for building a sustainable, permanent public service delivery system.
Speaking during his opening remark, he said, “the government to work with the NRA, not in competition, but cooperation for the benefit of our people.”
President advised other national government institutions and organizations, especially those in charge of revenue collection, to cooperate with NRA not to obstruct the NRA with its mandate to collect revenue.
Minister of Finance and Planning Hon. Athian Ding Athian emphasized the country’s progress on fiscal reforms and stressed the need to diversify South Sudan’s revenue.
“Reliance on oil resources is unsustainable for South Sudan. The COVID-19 crisis has underscored the need to diversify our non-oil resource mobilization. The discussions during this conference should help us establish a common understanding of the roles concerning taxation jurisdiction to ensure a transparent system across South Sudan. Strong institutions are essential for successful state-building and delivering peace dividends to the people,” said Hon. Athian.
The UN Development Progammes Resident Representative Samuel Doe viewed that getting institutions and systems right is more urgent than the country working to consolidate peace, silence the guns, and facilitate the return.
“This conference is an important step toward ensuring that tax collection results in services to the people. Resolving issues of overlapping tax jurisdictions will help to ensure a fair, progressive, and transparent tax system in the country,” he said.
NRA is tasked in the Revitalized Agreement on the Resolution of the Conflict in South Sudan (R-ARCSS) and in the NRA Act (2016) with assembling and administering all collected revenues in a single treasury account.
R-ARCSS and Local Governance Act also stipulate responsibilities for state and local governments to collect and manage revenues without clearly demarcating the individual responsibilities of each institution and level of Government.
Inappropriate accountability on non-oil revenue collection was mentioned as the risk level that sometimes creates tensions in the law and how non-oil revenue collection is undertaken and managed in the country.