By Deng Gatpan Wang
South Sudan Custom Services had undergone tangible reforms and significant improvement in the revenues collection following the appointment of an experienced and professional reformer Maj. Gen. Dr. Akol Ayii Madut in November 2018. Before his appointment, there was no transparency in the custom services because the monthly / annual financial report was neither subjected to thorough auditing nor announcement in the public media. The South Sudanese were in total darkness and uninformed of the amount of revenues being collected monthly or annually. In addition, the South Sudan Custom Services had no banking system of payment before the appointment of Maj Gen. Dr Akol Ayii Madut due to the facts that the public taxes were directly paid to the individuals at the custom stations. Therefore, I have categorized the achievements the of Gen. Dr. Akol Ayii into the following :
1.. Increase in the amount of monthly / annual revenues
Before President Salva Kiir appointed Gen. Dr. Akol Ayii, The Republic of South Sudan was solely depending on the oil sector because there was either no or low revenues being collected from the non oil sector ( custom services ). Another reason for the dependence of South Sudan on oil was that the custom revenues weren't remitted to the government account rather to individual's pockets. The amount of revenues being collected annually couldn't reach hundred millions pounds leave alone billions before Dr Akol was appointed. However, the appointment of Maj. Gen. Dr Akol Ayii resulted in the increase of annual collected revenues from 0 or lowest unknown figures to billions pounds. In less than two months in the office ( from Dec to Nov 2018), Gen. Dr. Akol Ayii managed to collect 4,632,187,671 SSP ( four billions six hundred thirty two millions one hundred eighty seven thousand and six hundred seventy one South Sudanese Pounds) at Nimule Custom Station leave alone other stations across the country.
The annual financial report at Nimule Station for the year 2019 significantly increased to 6,437,303,910 SSP ( six billions four hundred thirty seven millions three hundred three thousands and nine hundred ten South Sudanese pounds)
In the half of the year 2020 (six months collected revenues) at the same Nimule Station, Maj. Gen. Dr. Akol Ayii successfully managed to collect 3,508,120,143 SSP which is three billions five hundred eight millions one hundred twenty thousand and one hundred forty three South Sudanese Pounds. The above revenues were collected at Nimule custom station leave alone other stations in the country. You should know that South Sudan is currently depending on the custom revenues since the oil sector has collapsed following the outbreak of Coronavirus. If Gen. Dr. Akol wasn't appointed as a director general of custom services, the South Sudan economy would have collapsed because there would have been no revenues from both customs and oil sector.
2. Establishment of legal banking system
South Sudan Custom Services had no banking system of payment before the appointment of Gen. Dr. Akol Ayii as its Director General. The revenues were directly paid to the individuals at the custom stations. However, Dr.Akol in collaboration with the ministry of finance and economic planning opened the bank accounts at Nile Commercial Bank, Equity Bank, Corporate Bank etc. The collected revenues are deposited into the government accounts at the time of writing this article. The opening of bank accounts for the custom services has ceased auditing constraints as well as the minimal of financial corruption. The South Sudan Custom Services is now capable of determining how much it collects monthly or annually, something not existing before Dr. Akol's appointment.
3. Construction and Establishment of more custom stations
South Sudan Custom Services had few custom stations in which many of them were operating under the trees without erected modern offices. However, Gen. Dr. Akol Ayii initiated the construction and opening of more custom stations in order to boost the revenue collection across the country. The custom stations that were constructed and opened by Maj. Gen Akol Ayii are Torit, Raja etc. These newly constructed stations are currently generating billions of pounds to the government. He also constructed a very large modern parking yard at Nimule Station in 2019. Let me clarify to you that Gen. Dr. Akol was the one who constructed current existing offices at Kaya Custom Station in 2008 when he was the chief for custom at Kaya.
4. Institutionalization of South Sudan Custom Services
Maj. Gen. Dr. Akol Ayii is a human resource specialist and indeed he has practically and applied his knowledge by solving all the man power related problems at the custom services. Upon assumption of the office, Dr. Akol embarked on training all the officers and non commissioned officers. His appointment has also marked the entry of competent and qualified personnel into the custom services.
In conclusion, Maj. Gen. Dr. Akol Ayii Madut is the most successful director general of custom services. He neither has leadership weaknesses nor any charges. Gen. Dr. Akol Ayii has personal differences with corrupt individuals from his region who see him (Akol) as a blockage to their corruption agenda.
In regard to the fabricated Nimule Station Economic Cluster report concocted by the prominent opposition leader Hon. Adigo Onyoti in partnership with the minister of trade, commerce and industry Hon Kuol Athian Mawien. It is to be noted that Hon. Adigo Onyoti is a born opposition figure who doesn't want to see any achievement being accomplished by SPLM as a ruling party. Even though, Hon. Kuol Athian is an SPLM member, he has a hidden corruption agenda which he yearns to implement within the shortest period of time and that is why he has collaborated with a spiritually born opposition leader Hon. Adigo Onyoti invented a fake report with an intention of tarnishing the good image of a respected and abled Director General of South Sudan Custom Services Dr. Akol Ayii. Let me remind all of you that the man who laid the ground for the current unfortunate economic crisis in the Republic of South Sudan is Hon. Kuol Athian Mawien because he corrupted the public money when he was a minister of finance and economic planning in the then Southern Sudan.
Therefore, as a political analyst and a concerned youth from Upper Nile Region, I strongly condemn the concocted report of Nimule Station Economic Cluster which was issued by the chairman of the committee who doubles as a vocal opposition leader Hon. Adigo Onyoti in partnership with the one who appointed him ( Hon. Kuol Athian Mawien ). I call upon the government to review the report before implementing it.
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