14 May 2019 — Torit State Governor Hon. Victor Tobiolo Alberio, along with the Commissioner General of the National Revenue Authority Dr. Olympio Attipoe, Mr. Mitsuhiro Toyama, Chargé d’Affaires, Embassy of Japan, Eline Okudzeto, Principal Governance Officer, African Development Bank, UNDP Resident Representative Kamil Kamaluddeen and UNMISS Head of Torit Field Office Ms. Caroline Waudo officially inaugurated the Torit State Revenue Authority on Tuesday 14th May in Torit.
“Revenue collection will allow our state government to respond to security issues and emergencies and to support us as we embark on ensuring service delivery to the people. It will help stabilize the economy at the state level, solve the economic crisis, and support the women and youth of Torit in particular,” said Torit State Governor Hon. Tobiolo Alberio.
At the inauguration ceremony, Commissioner of Torit State Revenue Authority Hon. Charles Onen Lokwaruk presented new revenue streams activated in the state: forest products, sign boards, rental income, and livestock. Since the Torit State Revenue Authority began its revenue mobilization just 5-6 months ago, the state has funded rehabilitation of the Khor Muss Bridge, which improves access and enables business between Magwi, Juba and Torit, he explained.
The National Revenue Authority Commissioner General Dr. Olympio Attipoe emphasized the integration and harmonization of the State Revenue Authority into the national, accountable tax revenue system.
“At the national level, we are moving forward with establishing an integrated tax management system which will link each state to an accountable and transparent network. We want to be able to share the exact figures collected, give reports and monitor and track allocations. Accountability must prevail as we follow the law and ensure funds collected are allocated for state and national projects according to the law,” said Commissioner General Attipoe, adding his appreciation for continued support from the Government of Japan, the African Development Bank, and UNDP.
Mr. Toyama, Chargé d’Affaires of Japan to South Sudan, expressed his gratitude for the warm welcome by government officials, business leaders, community leaders, religious leaders and the public at the ceremony in Torit. Referring to the recent visit of H.E. Taro Kono, the Japanese Minister for Foreign Affairs, Mr. Mitsuhiro Toyama expressed “Japan welcomes the decision of extension of pre-transitional period based on the consent of the concerned parties, and we are committed to support the implementation of the peace agreement as peace and stability is the key to development in society. For improving access to services for citizens, it is necessary to construct an equal and transparent tax collection system which everyone can be convinced to contribute to, and which Torit Revenue Authority staff can carry out their responsibilities for revenue management and work to improve lives.”
Torit State Revenue Authority is the sixth state revenue authority inaugurated in South Sudan by/through the Support to Public Financial Management project, implemented by UNDP and funded by the Government of Japan and the African Development Bank. The launch in Torit follows Jubek, Gbudue, Aweil, Jonglei, and Gogrial where state revenue authorities have been established in the last two years.
“Today’s inauguration marks forward movement for peace, service delivery, and development of Torit State. This is about a South Sudan that takes ownership of its own projects, its own energy, and its own people: men, women, young and old. Building strong institutions is the pathway for developing a progressive society where people can access services when they need them and have confidence living in an area where their welfare is ensured,” said UNDP Resident Representative Dr. Kamil Kamaluddeen.
Strengthening institutional capacity and community resilience is a key pillar in UNDP’s support to South Sudan. A diversified state revenue base accompanied by harmonized state tax systems, will create fiscal space and more transparent utilization of public resources. Fiscal devolution is therefore a crucial milestone to ensure a robust fiscal space for sustainable development and poverty eradication.
“Strengthening tax administration systems in order to improve domestic resource mobilization is a key area of capacity development support for the African Development Bank. This area is key for the Government of South Sudan to fund and implement the revitalized peace agreement in order to put the economy back on track,” said Ms. Eline Okudzeto, Principal Governance Officer, African Development Bank (AfDB).
”The launch of the Torit Revenue Authority today is another testimony of the African Development Bank’s unflinching resolve to assist the Government of South Sudan achieve sustainable and stronger economic growth by increasing domestic resource mobilization and enhancing accountability for the use of public resources, while taking immediate measures to reduce dependency on oil, and boost non-oil revenues,” echoed AfDB’s South Sudan Country Manager Mr. Benedict Kanu.
Statistics from Ministry of Finance and Economic Planning show that South Sudan relies heavily on oil, with over 90% of the national budget coming from oil. Inefficient revenue mobilization and administration systems intensify socioeconomic deprivation of the predominantly youthful population, and service delivery in critical sectors remains dependent on humanitarian and development organizations. Taxation and alternative revenue generation is therefore pivotal for recovery and resilience building, and a pathway to creating equity and alleviating poverty in South Sudan.
For further information, please contact:
Kymberly Bays, UNDP Communications: +211920580239, firstname.lastname@example.org
Ayumi Hama, Embassy of Japan in South Sudan: +211922671502, email@example.com
Eline Okudzeto, African Development Bank: +254202712925, firstname.lastname@example.org
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