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Government tasks NRA to raise 100 billion SSP yearly

The Vice President for Economic Cluster, Dr. James Wani Igga, government officials, representative of AFDB, NRA officials among others (photo William Madouk)

By William Madouk Garang

The Vice President for Economic Cluster, Dr. James Wani Igga yesterday called on National Revenue Authority (NRA) to increase collection of non-oil revenues to 100 billion South Sudanese Pounds (SSP) a year.

The VP made the remarks during a one-day’s validation workshop organized by NRA to endorse its Five-year strategic plan aimed to enhance mobilization of non-oil revenue for development.

VP Igga said for the country to overcome the current economic meltdown it is brawling with, there’s a need to increase non-oil revenue collection and cut short the 90 percent dependency on oil.

“NRA itself to target SSP 100 billion because when we targeted SSP 58 billion we still see it, not enough but they have gone but above still it’s not felt, let us try 100 billion pounds this is what should be generated on non-oil revenue alone,” he said.

The VP for economic cluster echoed that the country should have effective, transparent, accountable and efficient generation of taxes and customs (revenues), as it is the only road to prosperity inspired by South Sudanese.

Dr. Igga also called on NRA and the board of directors to quickly approve this 5-years strategic plan along with NRA human resource policies to remedy the existing hardships.

At the same note, Minister of Finance and Economic Planning, Agak Achuil said that some countries rely on taxes and they have built good schools, hospitals and roads.

He stated that once NRA makes good use of tools given to them for the collection of revenue, they can see some development coming up.

“There are some countries that doesn’t have oil and they are building roads, schools and hospitals but in addition to our oil we still have some problem. So, we need to put our house in order such that what you are doing counts,” he stressed.  

Minister Achuil called on NRA to double their efforts, adding that tax exemptions have excessively deprived them from needed revenues and they are losing millions of pounds.

He said that, he is not seeing corporate taxes coming from hotels, banks and oil companies, yet he need sell tax, business profit tax and other taxes which NRA are not collecting, and put them in the coffer of government.  

However, NRA Commissioner General, Dr. Patrick Mugoya pledged to stakeholders and government that when strategic plan is approved, the NRA should be given necessary space to execute their mandate without intrusions.

“The initiative for attaining noble goal which implies the reduction of the current 90% oil revenue dependency of the national budget to 50% are focused of strategic plans document that’s to be discussed today,” Mugoya said.

Mr. Mugoya said that the proposed Human Resource policies have structural and administrative framework that will increase non-oil returns to 6% by FY 2026/27.

“We in NRA are optimistic that building on in our modest improvement that have seen growth non-oil revenue reach 64.4 billion pounds for first 10 months for fiscal year 2021/22 against annual budget 58.2 billion pounds,” Mugoya assured.

The one-day validation workshop for NRA five-year strategic plan was to allow key stakeholders, government at national or state levels and NRA to discuss and give feedback on how five-year plan mandate will be implemented.