By Yiep Joseph
Central Equatoria State government has found itself in drowning debt with several contractors after the merging of the former states of Jubek, Yei River and Terekeka into one, an official revealed.
Modi John Molla the state Minister of Labor, Public Service and Human Resource Development, said the defunct governments contracted several companies to carry out developmental projects to be paid later but time passed resulting in accumulative debts when the three former states were re-merged via a presidential decree that returned the country to 10 former states last year.
“Central Equatoria came from states of Jubek state, Yei River state and Terekeka state. When these three-state were brought together to be one state there were a lot of issues Terekeka has incurred a lot of debts, Yei river state also has a lot of debts that need to be clear, Jubek state has debts too, so when you calculate the amount it is too much,” Modi stated.
He stated that the state government was working hard to clear all the debts from the former three defunct states. “Now our government is still paying those debts and is working hard to complete the payment of all the debts.”
The minister was speaking at the assembly of the Bakery Workers’ Trade Union in Juba on Tuesday.
“I do not want to prolong my speech but would like to add something in regards to the nature of the work in the payroll of civil servants Central Equatoria state let me make this one clear such that you people can understand Equatoria has a lot of a lot of debts to be cleared,” Modi told the bakery workers.
Recently, a disgruntled contractor had the bank account of the state ministry of education blocked in the Central Bank by a court after the state government failed to pay more than 500,000 dollars in debt since 2015.
“There were schools constructed at the time of Jubek and the payment is not completed, there was one in Terekeka payment was also a problem, we were taken to court because of these debts, so the government of the state is reliable to pay these debts because it is still the same government,” he said.
“As a matter of fact, as a government, we did not refuse to pay this but we were saying if we cannot implement this at once, it will affect what is needed by the other people from the government,” Modi said.
“I am working hard with the Ministry of Finance as we are preparing for Christmas maybe early need year January or February, we will be able to implement these (debts payment) when the situation improves,” he promised.