National, News

Bak summoned over gold revenue

By Bida Elly David


Lawmakers at the National Assembly have suggested summoning the minister of finance and fiscal planning over mining sector revenue.

An MP had raised a concern at the Assembly, over gold mining in the country, during a debate on the National Revenue Authority Act, which is in its second reading stage.

Hon: Grace Abalang said that there has never been an in-depth report from the government over money generated from the mining sector.

“We need to know from the minister. Where is the revenue from gold? There is gold in Eastern Equatoria, Western Equatoria, and Raja,” Abalang said.

Abalang furiously suspected some individuals within the authority were behind the exploitation of the gold for their personal gain.

The lawmaker however failed to provide specifics of the individuals partaking in the gold deal, despite claiming to have the clue.

“They are living as individuals to benefit from the gold and our people are languishing in poverty in those states,’’ she said.

She suggested the need for some individuals within the government to be beefed over the invisible malpractices in the mining sector.

“If the minister of finance is not capable of managing the ministry he should better tell us in the parliament because we can’t fear individuals from the gold of South Sudan,’’ she added.

She added that the Assembly needs to see revenues of gold being reflected in the National Revenue Authority (NRA) bill.

The legislator further, suggested the finance minister needs to be accompanied by the national minister of mining who is the custodian, to avoid blame games.

Meanwhile, Africano Mande, the commissioner general of the National Revenue Authority said, there are products exported from South Sudan without the consent of the minister of mining.

“The honorable minister does not have control over it because there are people outside there that are mining alluvial gold that are being exported and I have the record,’’ he said

Alluvial gold is gold freshly extracted from the ground and sold before undergoing cleaning processes.

He disclosed that most of the gold sold in some of the Eastern African Countries comes from South Sudan.

“ I have the record that much of the gold sold in streets or in the institutions found in Kenya come from the republic of South Sudan, the records are there,’’ Mande said.

He said the records were disclosed by the Ministry of Trade and the Kenyan Revenue Authority.

“They said the gold that goes to Kenya is an alluvial gold. What they do was to take it back to their refinery, rebrand it, and stamp it as if it is Kenyan gold,’’ Mande said

However, Africano being the source of the Country’s treasury failed to answer whether NRA has been or has ever collected revenues from the mining sector.

The minister of mining Martin Gama Abucha who was at the parliament during the debate kept himself mute failing to answer any question upon late arrival.

The parliament still demands his presence as the minister of finance will appear before the house.

However, speaker Nunu through the voices of the lawmakers resolved to summon the minister of finance to answer questions on the destiny of the revenues collected from the mining sector with a focus on gold.

In June 2022, South Sudan’s former Minister of Finance and Planning Agak Achuil Lual disclosed that the country’s gold reserve was being stolen.

Agak made the shocking revelation during the launching of the World Bank grant-funded enhancing Community Resilience and Local Governance Project phase II.

The minister declined to reveal the players stealing the country’s gold.

He only said that gold in addition to oil and boosting agriculture would reduce the fluctuation of prices in the country.

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