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Cracks emerge within National Revenue Authority

By: Charles Lotara

Cracks have emerged within the National Revenue Authority (NRA) after the authority ordered the transfer of over USD 2million to the Central Bank, from which USD 19,438 (0.8%) was deducted in the name of bank ‘transfer charges’.

An authorization letter seen by Juba Monitor and signed by NRA Acting Commissioner General Erjok Bullen Geu directed the Chief Executive Officer of Stanbic Bank Kenya Limited to deposit the remaining amount worth USD779,000 into the government bank account after remitting more than USD 1million into NRA Operations Account.

“The Office of the Commissioner General presents its compliments and would like to authorize the transfer of the revenues received into the National Revenue Authority Block Account on behalf of the government for the month of October 2019 to the Bank of South Sudan on, or before 8th November 2019,” part of the document read.

“Please deduct 0.8% bank charges. Remit USD 1, 582, 742.18 into the National Revenue Authority Operations Account,” it continued.

The Acting Commissioner ordered the provision of the transfer report with an ultimatum of three days saying every transfer must bare an indication that each transaction was successful.

“Kindly furnish me with the transfer report within three days from the date of transfer and every transfer must have a description showing money has been transferred to the NRA Block Account. Please accept my highest consideration,” the letter read.

Juba Monitor was reliably informed that NRA was not authorized to facilitate the transfers of the said amount as all transfers are directed by the Ministry of Finance.

A close source also said the financial activities were not made known to the employees of NRA, raising further concerns over the transparency of the transactions made.

“We were not told about what happened and how the transactions occurred. However, what I understand is that, every transaction is either done or authorized by the Ministry of Finance,” said a source who sought anonymity.

“We were not shown any documentation. Who authorized the transaction? Who authorized the deduction of the money transferred in the name of bank transfer charges?,” asked the source.

The source said the amount transferred surpassed the company’s 2019 – 2020 annual financial budget, adding that NRA supposed to uphold only 2% of the money collected.

“This is an issue that I think should be investigated because the amount transferred is beyond the 2019/20 budget allocated to NRA. We don’t know whether this is the tax payers’ money being abused. I believe the government should look into this,” said the source.

Meanwhile, NRA’s motherboard the Ministry of Finance and the Central Bank alike have remained silent over the matter.

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