REVEALED, Why revenue chief Attipoe was fired

By Jale Richard

For the first time Finance Minister Salvatore Garang Mabiordit has revealed why he sacked former Commissioner-General of National Revenue Authority.

Dr. Olympio Attipoe was sacked last Friday and then no details were given for his removal.

But speaking to SSBC on Tuesday, Mabiordit said he dismissed the NRA boss for dishonoring orders of the Ministry of Finance.

“The issues are that the commissioner general had been consistently violating our laws such as Public Financial Management and Accountability Act 2011, which stipulates that all transactions of public nature must be according to the public management and accountability act… he is the only signatory, which cannot be allowed anywhere including in this country,” Mabiordit said.

He also accused Dr Attipoe of opening the Single Treasury Account without permission from the Ministry of Finance, which will again have to request the Central Bank to open a similar account on its behalf and at the end of every fiscal year.

He explained it is the central bank that closes the accounts on the requests of Ministry of Finance.

“He went even as far as Mombasa and opened the account in USD when he was confronted by a member of the board, he rejected it, he even denied that he did not do it. Later on, he agreed that he was there to facilitate this movement. How he did it, we don’t know,” Minister Mabiordit said.

But in June, Dr. Olympio told reporters that some government officials were orchestrating rumors against him, and that they did not want transparency in the revenue collection body.

He also said he opened the Mombasa account to collect revenue that had been going to “some individual’s pockets since the country gained independence.

“Some of the people who are orchestrating these rumors are the people appointed by His Excellency the President, he trusted these people that they will present him and do the work and make sure that we implement his vision, unfortunately these people are the people who undermine the vision of the President,” he said in June.

“They don’t want the President to succeed, every single successful program in this country they don’t want it to happen, especially they don’t want any institution to function, in a civilized manner in an accountable manner, and as a result they are doing everything possible to make sure that the revenue authority is not established according to international best practices.”

Dr. Olympio Attipoe, a Ghanaian national was appointed by President Kiir in 2018 with mandates of assessing, collecting, administrating and enforcing laws relating to taxation and revenues across the country.

Since his appointment, he established the Single Treasury Account, a public accounting system under which all government revenues, receipts, and income are collected into a single account.

The NRA said since January this year, revenues collected has been increasing every month.

In August, the body again announced that it collected 5 million dollars and another 1.5 billion pounds in the month of July alone.

The former revenue boss also helped in opening Single Treasury Accounts and tax harmonization for various states including Jonglei, Torit, Gbudue, Jubek, and others.

In July this year, Dr. Olympio revoked exempt status of a multi-million dollar road construction company.

Last week, Dr. Attipoe proposed a new Taxation Bill 2019 to replace the Taxation Act of 2009 expected to address, the relationship between the national and the state government in relations to taxation.

It also seeks to define the jurisdiction between personal income tax at the national and the state level.

The former Commissioner-General was appointed as part of the revenue mobilization project funded by the African Development Bank.

The project aims at building and establishing strong institutions to properly manage non-oil revenues.

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