Central Equatoria Information Minister Summoned Over Missing Funds

Jacob Aligo appeared before the house and answered numerous questions including the failure to inaugurate the newly built State TV and radio [Gurtong | File]

Hon. Jacob Aligo appeared before the house and answered numerous questions including the failure to inaugurate the newly built State TV and radio, activities of games and sports in the state, contribution by state government employees for the construction of the State TV and radio among others.

Aligo presented a 15 page report as a response to the questions raised by the house.

The CES TV and radio was a project initiated since 2007 by the then Minister of Information and Communication Joseph Lasu after the National government took over the current South Sudan Television and Radio Juba right after the signing of the peace accord in 2005.

The project had been estimated could cost $2.2million US Dollars. Work of the project intensified during the regime of the Barson.

According to the plan, the TV and the Radio were supposed to be launched during the declaration of the South Sudan independence in July 9, 2011 however, it failed.

In his response to the House, Aligo said 74% of the total cost of the project is now complete though there is still a critical work including need for finances that needs to be done.

“As of now, all four studios; two for the radio and two for the TV are completed. Unfortunately termites invaded and destroyed one of the studios but the damage will be fixed soon,” Aligo said.

“The construction of the transmission station and installation of the equipment is complete. The radio equipment has been supplied and awaiting installation,” added the Minister”

However, the House was not convinced over reports on how the money allocated for the project was used. There were no receipts presented by the Minister to the House depicting cost-effective utilization of the money as he said since his being in office for the last one month now, he could not establish several records regarding the execution of the project.

After nearly two hours of critical questioning by MPs, the House constituted a committee headed by the Chairperson of the Committee of Information joined by members of the committees of finance and legal affairs in the house to investigate further on the information delivered to the House by the Minister.

Among other demands, the House will want are the terms of the contracts signed by companies involved in constructing the project, receipts on finance utilization among others.

An amount of SSP 108,094 mobilized by State employees during the initiation of the project is reported to be missing. Aligo said he can not establish where the money or records are.

The account opened for the money he reported was closed during the time of Mr. Steward Soroba, the then Minister who followed Joseph Lasu. Among other discrepancies, the parliament had demanded an independent investigation of the matters of the Ministry in a move to come up with concrete resolutions on the problems.

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