South Sudan Tax Body Collects $12.3 Million in First Month

(Bloomberg) -- South Sudan’s tax body that began operations in January collected $12.3 million in the month, according to its head.

It’s a step toward operating “an accountable system for revenue collection,” the National Revenue Authority Commissioner-General Olympio Attipoe said Thursday in an interview from the capital, Juba.

The agency known as NRA collects only non-oil revenue and the world’s youngest nation’s main income is handled by ministries in charge of oil and finance.

While South Sudan has sub-Saharan Africa’s third-largest oil deposits, a five-year civil war more than halved production to about 130,000 barrels per day. The conflict has claimed the lives of 400,000 people and caused about four million others to flee their homes.

Non-oil revenue collections could be higher if the government reduces exemptions, according to Attipoe. The country probably lost more than 2 billion South Sudanese pounds through exemptions, he said.

“Something has to be done,” Attipoe said. “We must streamline the exemptions.”

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