By Yien Gattour Mead
Unity State lawmakers have threatened to impeach finance minister over failure to answer questions regarding the 3% proceeds from crude oil revenue.
The move was initiated after the finance minister failed to show up on a previous summon to answer questions about oil revenue.
After deliberating over the matter at length, the lawmakers unanimously agreed to summon the state’s Finance Minister Malual Tap to furnish them with details on the matter.
Stephen Mawich, chairperson of the Unity State Legislative Assembly’s information committee, reported that parliament summoned the state’s Finance Minister several times but the Minister declined to explain the budget.
“What is happening in the oil-producing state and the lack of development made us ask about the 3 percent oil share. We do not know where the 3 percent is going,” he explained.
“It is a serious matter that needs to be addressed quickly. We need to know the state’s budget before passing the new 2023/2024 budget.
He said the Finance Minister is now given seven days to appear next and any further failure would force the lawmakers to take against Minister Tap.
“After seven days we will come up with a vote of no confidence against the minister Finance Malual Tap Diu.”
For his part, Dr. Riak Koang, a member of civil society in Unity State, said it was important for the parliamentarians to know where the money has been going.
“We the civil society, we need to know where the money has been allocated to currently because our people have not been getting the 3 percent oil share allocated to the community for development, education, health, and safe water among other things,” he said.
Koang stated that the state’s development is hindered by inadequate management of the 3% oil share in seven counties: Mayom, Rubkona, Guit, Koch, Mayiendit, Leer, and Panyijiar.
He said nobody knows where the budget of 3% of the oil budget was spent.
The state’s finance minister did not answer repeated phone calls.