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‘Investigating me is not a problem’, says former Revenue Authority boss

Author: Kelly Abale | Published: Sunday, November 3, 2019

Dr. Olympio Attipoe, Former Commissioner -General National Revenue Authority (NRA) addressing journalists during a press conference in Juba [Photo| Eye Radio/Joakino Francis - June 11, 2019

The former Commissioner General of the National Revenue Authority has welcomed the formation of “another” investigation committee to look into allegations of fraud and insubordination labelled against him.

Early this week, Minister of finance issued a ministerial order forming a five-man committee to investigate Dr. Olympio Attipoe.

The minister, Salvatore Garang accuses Attipoe of opening and acting as sole signatory to private 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 as to why Dr. Olympio calls for press briefings to announce monthly revenue collections without authorization from him.

“For me setting up the committee to investigate me is not a problem,” Dr. Attipoe reacted after receiving news of the ministerial order.

He revealed that this is the fourth time a committee has been formed to investigate him since his dismissal in August this.

“My challenge is that it’s an embarrassment to the government in the eyes of the international community,” adding that no conclusive reports -from previous investigations -were made “for people to know that this is what the former commissioner-general has done and these are the financial issues in this case.”

Attipoe, however, said he is prepared to cooperate with the team, but expressed doubts that the outcome will be any different.

“What’s is the guarantee we are not going to have a 5th and 6th committee? So I’m now going to stay in Juba for the next 6 committees to investigate me?.”

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.                                

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