Central Equatoria State, News

No pay, no budget-MPs

By William Madouk


Central Equatoria legislators have vowed not to debate the state draft budget for fiscal year 2023-2024 unless their salary arrears and allowances are paid.

The house speaker, Peter Wani Kulang received the draft budget from the minister of finance but declined to table it, saying their demands must first be met.

“I want to announce to this House that I have officially received the budget. It was brought by the Minister herself and the Director General to my office,” Speaker Kulang told MPs, on Wednesday.

The speaker said he informed minister that he would not table that budget until the demands of the Parliament are met.

No. 1 Citizen Daily Newspaper has established that the members of parliament have gone for about six months without salaries and allowances of over three months.

Speaker Kulang said he met governor, Emmanuel Adil on a similar issue of the MPs’ remunerations.

“I told him (the governor), members are in their situation, and therefore, before we table the budget, their concerns have to be addressed, at least to give them a smile on their faces and to scrutinize the budget and pass it,” he continued.

“But before that, I cannot attempt tabling it when the Assembly demands are not put in place,” the speaker stressed.

Chairperson of the Specialized Committee for Information at the Assembly, James Modi Lomidi, told journalists that, indeed, their unmet issues are medical allowances, among other things, that will smoothen the work of the House.

“Well, there are issues pertaining to medical allowances, and there are issues pertaining to smaller things, which the House needs to have in order. Besides having all this, I think the House is very serious about asking the executive to implement,” said Lomidi.

Early this month, the state minister of Parliamentary and Legal Affairs presented a request before the Central Equatoria State Cabinet to approve SSP 200 million for 100 MPs going on recess and other business.

But the state council of ministries chaired by Governor Emmanuel Adil nods at only SSP 100 million for state MPs, which means each lawmaker will pocket SSP 1 million as they go for recess, which will be announced soon.

Emoluments and Privileges Bill

On September 20, 2022, the CES parliament passed the Emoluments and Privileges Bill 2022 for lawmakers and potholders holding public executive offices in the state. The bill saw basic payments adjusted from less than 2 percent to 70 percent.

The state constitutional post holders will enjoy outfit allowances of SSP 1,500,000, with three months’ salary annual stipends and five air tickets business class for each post holder.

Chairperson of the Specialized Committee for Economy, Finance, and Investment, Jacob Ladu Paul, noted that the bill also provides for free medical treatment and car loans worth USD 25,000 each or equivalent in South Sudanese Pounds, or SSP.

The gross emolument for governor stands at SSP 1,200,000, which is the highest in Central Equatoria State.

The speaker of the state assembly follows with SSP 1,100,000; this comes after MPs had a hot debate on who should be second in the state hierarchy between the deputy governor and the speaker in terms of protocol.

The deputy governor will pocket SSP 1,050,000, and the deputy speaker’s payment is adjusted from SSP 950,000 to SSP 970,000.

The emolument draft also increased ministers’ remuneration from SSP 900,000 to SSP 950,000, yet county commissioners’ and mayors’ salaries were reduced to SSP 750,000 from SSP 800,000.

The Deputy Chairperson of the specialized committee’s salary is adjusted from SSP 750,000 to SSP 800,000; meanwhile, members of parliament’s salaries are adjusted to SSP 760,000 from SSP 650,000.

The chief whip will be receiving SSP 900,000; the chairperson of the specialized committee will pocket SSP 850,000; and the advisor will be receiving SSP 1,000,000.

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