Assembly Needs Money and Better Attendance - Speaker

JUBA, Sudan, May 14, (Gurtong) – The Speaker for the Southern Sudan Legislative Assembly (SSLA), James Wani Igga, said at the opening of the assembly’s first session for 2007 on Monday that the SSLA has been running for four months without service funds from the ministry of finance.

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“Challenges met during the last session could be summarized in the financial constraints which came about as a result of the ministry of finance not meeting fully the SSLA monthly operational costs,” warned Igga.

Speaking at Juba University the speaker also requested all constitutional post-holders to ‘double up their attendance’ this year.

“Lack of quorum deprives this house from partaking in important deliberations and legislations,” said Igga who said that a lack of attendance was the reason for the two week delay before the opening of the year’s first session.

Igga said that the SSLA had formed a committee to look into how the ministry of finance purchased cars for government institutions from Alcardinal Company.

Ministry of Finance undersecretary Isaac Maker was dismissed in late October following investigations into dealings with his ministry and the company which billed the government US $95,000 for cars worth US $45,000.

Igga also said that another anti-corruption committee had been set up to review contracts signed between the government and GIBB Africa company. Their findings are not yet available.

Juba University was chosen as the location for the opening as the SSLA building is still under reconstruction, a process the speaker called ‘slow by all known standards’.

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