National, News

Minister Napwon blasts overspending reports

By Bida Elly David

National minister of environment and forestry has rubbished a parliamentary committee for naming her ministry among 15 institutions that overspent 2022–2023 budgetary allocations.

National Assembly specialized committee for Finance on Wednesday ranked the Ministry of Environment and Forestry as the fifth overspending entity with a 245% overdraft.

In her rebuttal, Hon.  Josephine Napwon Cosmas trashed the report, saying it was not genuine since none of the government’s treasury has even contributed towards the activities of her docket.

She further stated that the government has failed to address some of the environmental hazards with dire impacts in most places across the country.

“I was very surprised to see that the Ministry of Environment is overspending, and yet the little that we budgeted here is not enough, the minister exclaimed.

She said that the Ministry of Environment in this Country is one of the neglected institutions.

“We have not taken the environment as our priority,” Napwon hit back at the report.

She echoed that South Sudan has been battling serious flooding, but less attention has been given by the government to overcome the natural calamity.

“In the last two years, we had flooding in this country, and there was no intervention from the government,” she cited.

Mrs. Napwon said the Ministry of Environment had tried to allocate climate change funding in the budget but later cut it in budgetary processes.

She added that the allocation for her docket in every fiscal year has been so petty for running the activities of the ministry as far as fighting environmental hazards is concerned.

“The Ministry of Environment is standing with SSP 700 million, which is nothing compared to the activities that we have in the ministry. Something should be done for this,” Napwon appealed.

She said if South Sudan knew the negative impact of climate change across the globe, then the Ministry of Environment would have been prioritized with high allocations rather than being accused.

“Climate change is a global issue, and South Sudan is one of the countries affected. If you go to Unity State and some parts of the Country, you will see our people miserable, living in water, and we are unable to intervene,” she said.

Minister Napwon recounted that the council of state once summoned her to explain why her ministry failed to intervene in mitigating the catastrophic situation, noting that this explained the limited budget to her docket.

“If there is another summons against the Ministry of Environment, I think all of you should be witnesses because we are denied budget and have done our part,” she echoed.

Napwon also disputed calls from the finance committee demanding the ministry conduct an environmental audit.

“If you see pages 15–16 of the report, it is directing the Ministry of Petroleum and the National Petroleum and Gas Commission to speed up environmental audits in oil-producing states,” she cited.

She said it is the responsibility of the Ministry of Environment, in collaboration with the Ministry of Petroleum, to do the environmental audit.

“I think we are misleading the public.” Napwon blasts the lawmakers.

She argued that a ministry that pollutes the environment cannot also be tasked with assessing the impacts, describing it as senseless.

“We cannot charge a ministry that is doing the pollution with the responsibility to assess itself; does it make sense? I thought it was this parliament’s job to correct things, but I felt offended when I saw the report,” she said.

Comments are closed.