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Auditor General: Office of the President and Ministry of Finance and Economic planning took community oil share without justification

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A report by the Auditor-General has revealed that communities in oil-producing areas lost over 31 million dollars to the Office of the President, Ministry of Finance, and other unauthorized entities.

The report revealed a series of irregularities in the management of petroleum revenue resulted in the loss of more than 50 million dollars since 2011.

Communities in Ruweng Administrative Area, Unity and Upper Nile states are to receive 3 percent of the oil revenue according to the Petroleum Management Act.

But the damning report established that unauthorized entities instead received the payments illegally.

It said the Office of the President was paid 1.3 million for unknown reasons in 2016.

And between 2015 and 2020, the Ministry of Finance paid 22.2 million dollars to different unknown accounts, the report revealed.

Also, another transfer to a foreign company is 7.5 million which was paid in 2015 to an unknown beneficiary and with no reason for the payment.

Again, 1 million dollars was paid in 2015 to an unknown payee.

Honorable Santino Jerfus Yach a member of the Council of State says oil-producing areas have been deprived of their rights yet they face many health and development challenges.

He says many children are being born deformed because of the pollution in the oil-producing areas.

Both local and international campaign groups say women are giving birth to deformed babies and stillbirths, claims the local people have confirmed.

In 2015, a scientific study by a German human rights and relief organization— Sign of Hope said the health of more than 180,000 people in the oil-producing areas was at risk due to drinking water contaminated by crude oil.

Hon. Santino Jerfus told the Council of States on Wednesday that if the money were used for their intended purposes, many lives would have been saved.

“In the report of the Auditor-General, names came up, companies that are not supposed to access this money 2% for the state and 3% for the communities,” Hon. Santino Jerfus said.

“You all know our communities who deserved this money are dying. They are dying because they are drinking polluted water, deformed children are being born, some are referred to Nairobi and some are dying immediately after birth.”

Last week, a new report revealed that more than 200 children were born with deformities caused by suspected environmental pollution in the oilfields.

According to a research firm—Nile Initiative for Health and Environment, they found over 218 cases of birth defects over the last three years.

These are results gathered from all the oil fields in Unity, Upper Nile states and Ruweng Administrative Area.

The non-profit organization said some of the cases were registered by partners and local health centres in the oil fields.

© Eye Radio Report

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