By Ephraim Modi Duku Sokiri
Constituency Development Fund Committee at the Revitalized National Transitional Legislative Assembly (R-NTLA) has finalized calculating money meant for development projects at the grassroots.
An amounting of 45,400,000,000 South Sudanese pounds has been allocated for 102 constituencies across the country. Each constituency will get 445,098,039 million South Sudanese pounds.
Chairperson of the CDF committee, Hon. Peter Lomude Francis told No.1 Citizen Daily Newspaper that the committee calculated the money from 2012 to 2023, getting a total figure of 45.4 billion SSP.
“Regarding the process based on the directives of the president, the CDF committee in the parliament was able to calculate the arrears for the last ten years,” he said.
Modality of calculating the money was derived from the 3 percent of the annual government revenues as per section four of the CDF Act.
“We calculated on the basis of that, for each financial year, we look at the revenues and we get the 3 per cent of the annual revenue,” Lomude explained.
The committee chairman defended their position that the mechanisms in place were stipulated in the law.
“We also need to strengthen the auditor’s report by the audit chamber that needs to be tabled in the parliament and the previous CDF that was released to be able to identify the gap that CDF was operating,” he added.
MP Lomude and his committee are yet to meet with the Ministry of Finance to discuss further on the arrangements of the CDF payment.
“We are working on 102 geographical constituencies of 2010,” Hon. Lomude stated.
He noted that Constituency Development Committees, and County Project Committees will work to ensure transparency and accountability in utilization of the CDF money, in the constituencies.
“We feel that it is important to review it to increase public participation in order to promote the general aspect of transparency and accountability in the use of the CDF,” added.
He said there is need to ensure that the mechanism of supervision is strengthened, to ensure that some members don’t temper with the money and use it for services delivery.
CDF is on the mandate of the management committees in the constituencies to be able to identify some projects in the community like for the youths and women to be able to be funded.
“The projects should be identified by the community members” Hon. Lomude stressed.
The fund is also one of the necessities of the revitalized peace agreement in Article 22.214.171.124, which the government is supposed to implement, and it also appears in Annex 6 of the roadmap, which is pending.
If not released, the lack of budgetary allocation for CDF will affect especially the areas of service delivery such as primary health care, schools, clean drinking water, and bridges.
Among others, CDF projects provide services which can be felt by communities in their constituencies as being from the government to the people.
In October 2022, some MPs who protested, said the fund should be released to allow them to visit their constituencies and engage with the community members and identify the needs of their people.
According to Article 4 of the CDF Act of 2007, 3% of the total revenues must be distributed to the constituencies for development.
In the parliamentary budget report that the legislators have approved, CDF was given SSP8.6 billion in for 2021–2022 fiscal year budget and the Assembly has approved SSP24.9 billion, or three percent of the budget for 2022–2033, for CDF.