12th November 2019
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Five-man team to investigate ex-NRA boss over “fraud”

Author: Kelly Abale | Published: 2 weeks ago

Dr. Attipoe Olympio, former commissioner general for NRA addressing journalists in Juba in June 2019 | Credit | Juba Monitor

The Minister of Finance and Economic Planning has formed a committee to investigate former Commissioner General of the National Revenue Authority.

In a ministerial dated 28 October 2019, Salvatore Garang instructed five people to look into allegations of fraud and insubordination by Dr. Olympio Attipoe.

The order seen by Eye Radio accuses Attipoe of opening and acting as sole signatory to private bank accounts with Commercial banks within and outside the country.

Salvatore wants the committee to find out if the former commissioner misused 2 per cent of the annual collection meant for capacity building of personnel at the Revenue Authority.

The Minister also demands an explanation why Dr. Olympio calls for press briefings to announce monthly revenue collections without authorization from him.

The five-man committee is headed up by one Dr. Moua Moti Moua Korok.

Other members include Onwar Deng, Brigadier Chol Michael, Joseph Wol and Peter Lai.

They are expected to complete their investigations within 14 days.

The Finance Minister, Salvatore Garang, terminated Dr. Olympio Attipoe’s contract two months ago.

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

Since his removal, the NRA has ceased announcing monthly collections, with the acting commissioner-general claiming the announcement of monthly collection of non-oil revenue to the public is wrong, adding that the revenue authority has no power to do so.

As the boss of the NRA, Dr. Attipoe notably set up the government institution despite “resistance” from senior government officials who were diverting the public funds into their pockets.

He closed down private bank accounts some officials were using to wire taxes into and set up the single treasury account.

He had been publicizing monthly collections until his sacking.

The last announcement made by the NRA was in August. It was about $5 million and another 1.5 billion Pounds.

The amount brought to $41 million and over 8 billion pounds the total collection from the non-oil revenue from January to July this year.

Attipoe once made a memorable anti-corruption statement, while inaugurating Gogrial State Revenue Authority in Kuajok in November 2018.

He said: “You cannot call yourself a rich man because you’ve successfully managed to divert government resources into your pocket. If you want to be rich, demonstrate it, use your talent and you make sure that you work hard to become rich. You don’t become rich because of government resources and then pride yourself.”

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