Committees assess sectors performance reports

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Addis Ababa, 6 February 2014 (WIC) - The Ethiopian Financial Intelligence Centre says it has almost fulfilled the requirements of the 8th action plans in a bid to stand on its feet dismembering itself from the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) public statement in the near future.

Responding to questions raised by members of Finance and Budget Affairs Standing Committee with regards to the six-month performance report of the centre, Financial Intelligence Centre Director General Gemechu Weyma said yesterday that the centre has exerted much efforts in combating money laundering and countering the financing of terrorism in cooperation with the Federal Police and its partners.

Moreover, the centre has become a member of Eastern and Southern Africa Anti-Money Laundering Group (ESAAMLG) and other international organizations to further intensify the fight against illegal money transactions across the globe, he added.

With regard to familiarizing the youth with anti-money laundering proclamation, he noted that the centre has provided extensive awareness creation campaigns across the nation and succeeded in bringing attitudinal changes as well.

As to empowering women, he said that the centre has established special force that looks after and protects the rights of women. A number of women have also been promoted and hired over the last six months.

In a similar move, Science, Communication and Technology Affairs Standing Committee with the House of Peoples' Representatives criticized the six-month budget utilization of the Ministry and stressed the need for carrying out compensation tasks in the remaining months of the budget year.

After it listened to the six-month performance report of the Ministry, Committee Chairman Getachew Melese urged the Ministry officials that though 93 per cent of physical performance of the Ministry is so successful, there is a serious problem of budget utilization. Of the total budget, the Ministry has utilized only 53 per cent of budget allocated for the reported period.

Concerning telecom services the public raise varies inquiries in relation to accessibility and quality of the service. The Ministry should take temporary measures until long term solution are implemented. But the problem is remaining to various towns. One the other hand, e-government infrastructural development, citizens charter preparation, comprehensive billing service, community radio service provision, standardization and regulatory of ICT, computer refreshing tasks, high manpower turnover, auditing, IT park, rural telephone expansion, planning tasks in coordination with other stakeholders are among other shortcomings, the standing committee urges the ministry to give serious attention.

State Minister of Information Communication Technology Getachew Negash on his part said that his Ministry is relentlessly working to effectively use the budget in the remaining budget year grappling with various complicated challenges of procurement.

On the other hand, the Ministry is working seriously providing radio, frequencies and other facilitate that curb communication barriers in areas where mega projects are carrying out. Besides, increasing telecom service to rural Ethiopia, the Ministry is signing various agreements with Huawei to improve quality of the service. In addition, it is working closely with the Addis Ababa City Administration to receive land for the construction of 500 telecom sites. It is also undertaking network expansion activities to tackle the problem in a couple of months.

State Minister Peter Gatcot also said the Ministry is making utmost effort to identify reasons behind employee turnover. Most of its workers are leaving as a result of seeking better salary. But, it has been pointed out also that there exists problem of personnel administration, he said.

In a related development, the Public Financial Enterprises Agency said the Commercial, Development, Construction and Business banks of Ethiopia and Ethiopian Insurance Corporation have registered 5.62 billion birr profit. Planned to earn 5.71 billion birr, they could secure over 98 per cent profitability during the last six months (July 1, 2005- December 30, 2006 E.C). Compared to last year's similar period, the profit has increased by over 29 per cent.

Presenting Agency's six months performance report to Budget and Finance Affairs Standing Committee with the House of Peoples' Representatives yesterday, Director General Dr. Sintayehu Wolde-Michael said that the four enterprises total asset has reached 255.62 billion birr. Planned to perform 256.54 billion birr, over 99 per cent of the plan is accomplished. Compared to last year's similar period, it has shown over 25 per cent increment.

Dr. Sintayeu further said that the four enterprises total liability has reached 239.53 billion birr. It has succeeded over 99 per cent of the plan. It has also shown over 25 per cent increment. Their capital including the reserve has reached over 16 billion birr. Compared to last year's same period, it has increased by over 20 per cent.

He also said that the Agency has been working hard in the institutions focusing on capacity building, settling good governance in the four financial enterprises and public awareness creation activities.

The four financial enterprises have made profit in the last six months meeting over 98 per cent of the targeted plan.

Budget and Finance Affairs Standing Committee Deputy Chairperson Genet Tadesse on her part said that the agency has done commendable duties in connection with the capacity building, public relation, awareness creation duties and profit making activities and among others.

However, the Ethiopian Insurance Corporation and Construction and Business Bank have registered low performance. The agency has to give due attention to these financial enterprises so as to clear out its budget utilization vibrantly and submit its budget performance report to the House. (EH)