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Fears of South Sudan economic collapse before independence - Central Bank official

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By Ngor Arol Garang

February 2, 2011 (JUBA) - A high ranking official in the political arena of the Government of South Sudan (GoSS) has issued a strong warning, suggesting the possibility of economic collapse ahead of the official announcement of the region’s independence.

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Building of the Bank of Southern Sudan (photo BOSS)

Speaking at the weekly media forum, organised by the ministry of information and broadcasting service, on Tuesday, in the regional capital of Juba, Elijah Malok Aleng the deputy governor of the Central Bank of Sudan expressed fears of economic collapse, before it becomes independent.

"I am afraid the state is collapsing before it even begins. In as long as you are not straight, the economy will not be straight, because, a few of you will control the economy. You will be tycoons.

"We already know of people who have millions in their accounts, whether in Ivory or Buffalo Banks. Where did you get the money from, it is simply because you got it wrongly. Those who will not have anything to do with the state will go to the street.

"What is happening in Tunisia, Cairo can easily come here. Let us look at what the resources of the state are. And let us see how they are rationalised to the public so that they are satisfied,” Aleng told the press.

The senior bank official also informed the press that the region is likely to become independent in less than a year and will have its own currency, which will be released when discussions between the parties are over.

"In the event the final results of the referendum on self-determination for the people of south Sudan are announced in favour of secession and it becomes an independence state, the south will have its own currency. This will be released, once current discussions, taking place between the parties, referring to National Congress Party and the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement, the SPLM, are concluded", said Aleng.

However, he declined to comment on the name of the new currency and its value, saying they are delicate issues which cannot be made public before post-referendum arrangement discussions on economics are concluded. Aleng also said the bank is trying its best to stimulate and maintain a modest foreign exchange rate, through appropriate policies and interventions.

"We are trying our best to at least maintain the stability of the bank, but there are several economic and human factors which hinder these efforts. One of these factors is that the region depends heavily on imported foods and technical labour from neighbouring countries, paid in hard currency. Another factor driving inflation is that many South Sudanese have their families still in the Diaspora thus send their salaries [abroad]", said Aleng.

Aleng also linked the scarcity of hard currency, especially US dollars, to the country’s international commitments. However, US$40 million is released every month to the public through commercial banks and foreign exchange establishments.

"The government has set in place policies and projects to attract back and discourage citizens sending out their family members to foreign countries. One of these is building standard schools, hospitals, roads and giving attention to other social amenities, so as to attract back our citizens from the Diaspora", said Barnaba Marial Benjamin Bil, minister of information and broadcasting service in GoSS.

(ST)

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  • 3 February 2011 06:15, by Jongkuch

    I hope they are listening. The people of South Sudan pay salaries to officials who do little or nothing to serve them. They get the money and transfer it to Kenya, Uganda,etc. Well, very soon they will have explanations to do unless they change their ways of doing business with us.

    Jongkuch

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    • 3 February 2011 06:43, by Ito

      Comrade Elijah,

      Nothing to disagree at all, you are absolutely right. our economy is shrinking despite the amount of resources we have in hand. How come some people have millions of dollars in the banks? how much do ministers get paid in the first place? this is rampant corruption and the blood of the innocent will stick on the neck of those doing such stupid things.

      The money for the whole citizens should not be used to satisfy few individuals interest. I give you credit for coming out with such an intelligent advice. I suggest you take a deeper look into such a situation otherwise we will fall economically and that will be an insult to us. The world will say we cannot manage ourselves due to such mismanagement of public resources. Last time the central bank collapse and was subsequently followed by small banks.

      It was against monetary policy when you look deep into economic understanding; it is simply because the central bank according to economic field is the bank of banks and can only collapse after smaller banks are completely buried, but what happened in south sudan was the other way round. It was a clear indication of chronic corruption couple with employment of inept workers into the bureaucratic system.

      I hope the Goss will come with some serious austerity measures to arrest this pathetic situation. This is a big pain on our backs.

      May God bless all

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      • 3 February 2011 06:55, by Nyachebe

        Ito:

        You said it all my dear!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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      • 3 February 2011 07:09, by Gatwech

        Mr. Elijah Malok Aleng (Governor of Bank of South Sudan),

        First of all, it is very unfortunate that people of such huge financial responsibility like yourself, Sir, have been keeping quiet since 2005, while watching these thieves stealing our resources from your bank with cheques finally approved by yourself, Elijah!

        Why did you in the first place allow those thieves to loot the bank by signing and approving such suspicious cheques from ministry of finance? What was your role and sense of responsibility as the Governor of the Bank for all these years.

        To me, you are just shedding crocodile tears while trying to dirty-clean yourself in the process.

        If I give you this shocking fact from the Anti-corruption commission that your name is among those you described to have stolen millions of dollars and put them in accounts abroad, would you deny it?

        I guess you only talked of those who have put money in the local banks in South Sudan. Do you have information about the expatriated money to foreign banks.

        You are equally responsible for the looting of the Bank of South Sudan because you are always the final authority approving withdrawal of suspicious cheques from your bank. You didn’t take bold action to reject such banks and blow the whistle.

        Let just wait and see the judgement day!

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        • 3 February 2011 07:18, by Gatwech

          CORRECTION: You did not take bold action to reject such CHEQUES and blow the whistle.

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        • 3 February 2011 07:40, by omoni Atari

          Brother Gatwech,
          You are absolutely right, Elijah is among the corruptees or thieves .He dont have to tell us non sense now.
          Just do your business as usually,and make sure your time is coming very soon.

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        • 3 February 2011 07:42, by Dengcol malual

          Gatwech,

          i disagree with you in some part because corruption is not only through bank or check. for example, the departments or ministries can come up with good ideas in term of development such as remodelled the hospital or construction project and then they misused the fund by buy cheap materials and the rest of the money will ended up in their pocket. corruption do come in different forms, but if the anti-corruption is not given the power to prosecute criminals, then nothing will change.

          however, we are in the same boat because if the economy is collapse, the ordinary people will be the victims and the top leaders will be the beneficiaries.

          from the President, vice president and all the way to the last dept are corrupted leaders and they need to change or they will loose their seats with no time.

          it is good for him to talk about it and maybe somebody else will speak out next and very soon they turn against each other. if you want to convict criminals or digging for more evidence, you need to find a way to turn them against each other and the evidence will be right there.

          Malok vs.GOSS and minister vs. minister equal justice

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        • 3 February 2011 10:28, by Mel mosa

          Dear all

          Malok Aleng has something behind his statement. He try to make a cooup few weeks ago aiming that the first president to raise the South Sudan Flag must be from Bor community. But the coup has fail and he try to cause conflict between government and Southern Sudan people.

          In fact, he is right that gov official have millions in their account which not new to southerners. All government official are corrupted including him. He is the one leading government officials. He has almost reach to billion.

          My advice to South Sudanese is that be wise enough not to be fool by politicians. They enjoy their lives through your suffering. We must to be patient and intelligence guys.

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      • 3 February 2011 07:29, by Agutran

        Now it’s up to the law makers in the parliament to set the rules and regulations of how to manage the new nation’s economy.

        They have the power to set the pay Scale for every private and public civil servant, from the president to the civilians, army, police and technical professionals in the public and private sectors. Make the records of every payout and tax them.

        If the government doesn’t have the record of whatever they payout and don’t collect the taxes on every penny or cent of the money paid out, the economy will never stand on itself, it will collapse.

        It’s the government responsibility to collect from individuals, businesses, sales, and property taxes and the used the proceeds to build the nation infrastructures.

        The top official should not just warn they should take action now not later.
        Those who hate the South because the South split from Sudan will prove their point that “look we’ve told you that you will fail, but you didn’t listen to us”.

        So, why not proved them wrong that we are capable managing ourselves like any other nation in Africa.

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    • 3 February 2011 07:03, by Ahmed Chol

      Failure is not an option. Don’t let the prediction and the wishes of the north become true. Don’t let this notion that says, "Southerners are not able to do anything, Southerners cannot rule themselves and run their own state" become true. Those who are looting and lining their pockets with public funds should be dealt with. Somebody who steals lots of money from the state e.g $60 million is an enemy of the state and therefore deserves a severe punishment such as a capital punishment or life in prison. The public needs to be educated on these case and how the court has persecuted the culprits. And this will deter those who are working to steal public money. Any of the millionaires needs to be investigated and tell how they get the money.

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    • 3 February 2011 07:27, by Agutran

      Now it’s up to the law makers in the parliament to set the rules and regulations of how to manage the new nation’s economy.

      They have the power to set the pay Scale for every private and public civil servant, from the president to the civilians, army, police and technical professionals in the public and private sectors. Make the records of every payout and tax them.

      If the government doesn’t have the record of whatever they payout and don’t collect the taxes on every penny or cent of the money paid out, the economy will never stand on itself, it will collapse.

      It’s the government responsibility to collect from individuals, businesses, sales, and property taxes and the used the proceeds to build the nation infrastructures.

      The top official should not just warn they should take action now not later.
      Those who hate the South because the South split from Sudan will prove their point that “look we’ve told you that you will fail, but you didn’t listen to us”.

      So, why not proved them wrong that we are capable managing ourselves like any other nation in Africa.

      repondre message

    • 3 February 2011 07:39, by SPLA,corrup

      You are one of them too. As a normal one you are surpose to take action what did you do when you knew about it?And as you have said now to the public what will be done about it? rather then talking about it.I like people who see something that seems not right and take action or report to the anti-corruption commision. we are warning you lazy and corrupt officers to watch out otherwise we will aply Mubarak stile for you in the future...

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    • 3 February 2011 09:44, by sunny

      kleptomaniarch clenque are apparently stealing in a broad day light before independent. My equation is that the citizen don’t see the government as part of their live; they view the government as an isolated institution rather than an unbrella under which they find shelter. This perception widens the gab between citizen and government officials.

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    • 3 February 2011 10:37, by Mel mosa

      Dear all

      Malok Aleng has something behind his statement. He try to make a cooup few weeks ago aiming that the first president to raise the South Sudan Flag must be from Bor community. But the coup has fail and he try to cause conflict between government and Southern Sudan people.

      In fact, he is right that gov official have millions in their account which not new to southerners. All government official are corrupted including him. He is the one leading government officials. He has almost reach to billion.

      My advice to South Sudanese is that be wise enough not to be fool by politicians. They enjoy their lives through your suffering. We must to be patient and intelligence guys.

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    • 3 February 2011 15:27, by Yazman

      Christ, when the hell will Africa get some people in charge who aren’t keeping all the money for themselves and screwing the people?

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  • 3 February 2011 06:57, by Janafil

    Late president Dr. John was seeing the first priority fall to a side of health, water and schools in South rural areas.
    it’s 100% true but do we have people who can implement like that? I am only seeing poverty trumbling the brain of our leaders who involve themself in looting money and ran away to neighbouring Countries for banking and pay those big houses and put their children in those expensive school,Hospitals and so on. Hey, I don’t think guys we are fulfilling the vision of SPLM/SPLA when we were in bush, if we practice like this that mean we are forgeting our poor people who may not be able to send their children to those Countries and that disqualified our vision, mission of why we want out for war in 1983. Please, South People lets take the twon to our people, lets not take the twon to neighbouring Countries.

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  • 3 February 2011 07:47, by Othogomoi

    The deputy government knows all the people whom he is addressing, from did they get this money? from him. he is the one who control flow of money from the central bank to the commercial bank and individuals pocket, so when there is failure in South Sudan economic, he is the one to be blamed for, because he used to give Musaadat(help)to his relatives, did he know that it is affecting the econmic.
    secondly recruitment of unqualified relatives, & foreign friends,in a very sensitive post also is one of the cause of this failure.
    you need to review the documents of your officers in your intitutions, otherwise nothing will change
    just go to custum market, see how illiterat people are wasting the nation fund on nothing only sitting under umbrella, exchanging, how can this improve nation economic?
    you need to solve this questions first,then complain the public

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  • 3 February 2011 07:55, by Kolong

    Mr. Governor Elijah,

    I am not surprised at all by your comments at this particular point in time, but it has come somehow late...this has been going on since the signing of the CPA (looting South Sudan coffers) and none bothered, yourself inclusive.

    Good that you have recognized the looming problem associated with control of an economy’s resources by a few individuals, now it is time you tackle the real root causes. A few comments in this respect:

    i- Siphoning and transfer of funds by South Sudanese who have families in the diaspora is one of factors but insignificant to say especially when you consider consumption pattern in an economy.

    ii- Corruption is surely the syndrome: for example, if you are told that some service men in the armed forces have not received salaries for over three years and yet monies were released, will you deny? This monies if received by the beneficiaries would have been used in South Sudan thus maintaining the circulation of the wealth within. In fact the aggregate amount of consumption by these citizens would be more than transfers out, but to our surprise, a few individuals are allowed to benefit becuase they have GOD FATHERS in the system.

    iii- Our Parliamentarians are to blame: for example, the Anti-Corruption Commission was formed but no laws passed to empower the institution to act on known cases of corruption, even the Legal Affairs to who the cases are referred have not prosecuted any culprit since the signing of the CPA. Do you expect God to come to our rescue? CDF issue is still fresh, have you heard of any indictments?

    iv- We will need people who can deliver in the system. You Governor will have to start with the ovehaul and restructuring of BOSS. BOSS have the monitoring capacity of other financial intermediaries but seems you are not doing your job...NCB collapsed because of the lack of supervision and if it continue unchecked, another bank will follow suit. South Sudanese have lost millions which would have been ploughed back into the economy for consumption by the affected bankers with NCB.

    Unless we embrace patriotism, yous predicaments will come true because we are still tribalistic.

    God help South Sudan.

    Kolong

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  • 3 February 2011 09:23, by deyjien

    I cant agree more with this article, there is definitely going to be tough times ahead for this young nation...

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  • 3 February 2011 10:39, by Mel mosa

    Dear all

    Malok Aleng has something behind his statement. He try to make a cooup few weeks ago aiming that the first president to raise the South Sudan Flag must be from Bor community. But the coup has fail and he try to cause conflict between government and Southern Sudan people.

    In fact, he is right that gov official have millions in their account which not new to southerners. All government official are corrupted including him. He is the one leading government officials. He has almost reach to billion.

    My advice to South Sudanese is that be wise enough not to be fool by politicians. They enjoy their lives through your suffering. We must to be patient and intelligence guys.

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    • 3 February 2011 23:58, by Nhomlawda

      Mel,

      You are a stupid arabized Dinka. You are a fool to think that Bor community is working against Kiir presidency. Other people are looking for opportunities to loot while Bor people in the government are working hard to achieve national interest including safeguiding Kiir presidency. However, Bor people are now getting marginalized in the government because of their refusal to allow widespread looting of government resources.
      Malok is saying this becuase of frustrations so that problems are corrected in order for the economy to pick up to benefit every citizen in South Sudan.
      You are useless to think that other Jieng communities in Bahr el Gazal can make the government without Bor community.
      You do not know what you are talking about. Do you think attempted coup is like eating food and stealing money? Idiot, get out of arab mentality and do not talk against Jieng unity.

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      • 4 February 2011 17:10, by Mel mosa

        Nhomlawda

        I alawys say what I comfirm my friend. Don’t tell me about your people that they refuse looting. I know your people how greed they are. I have been with them in the movement for more than twenty years. I know very well that they are excellence teachers of corruption. They teach every tribe who don’t have history of corruption how to corrupt during the movement. This time my firend, it is hard for your peolp to win presidency of Southern Sudan whether by election or by coup. I am glad your Bhar el Ghazal people who alawys secure your leadership learnt enough about your trouble leadership. So they don’t have to support you any more. Everybody in South knows how nasty your leadership. Make sure that next president will not be dinka any more. I know you will be excluded in South Sudan leadership. You will go to hell by then.

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  • 3 February 2011 11:13, by Mango

    What do you expect from a country that is run by a bunch of cattle keepers. When the NCB was crumbling Malok made a alam no one heed to his cry, when he wanted to release the list of shame, he was armtwisted. Lets wait and see want is going to happen. God come down to save this new nation.
    Mango

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  • 3 February 2011 13:42, by Jalaby

    What Crazy people!

    Before independance or after independance south Sudan economy is going to collapse and become "Failed State", it is just a matter of time and US vice president fearness will become very true about south Sudan "Failed State"!

    Jalaby (Abo Tagia)

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    • 4 February 2011 00:58, by Deng E. Manyuon

      Jalaby,

      Don’t let your emotion fail you to understand the Central Bank official fears. The official is warning about the risk. It is a risk management policy. This risk is to be assessed, control or manage and review. Mr Elijah has identified the risk. He will be able to assess it, manage it and evaluate it in the future. Keep dreaming my friend!

      Deng

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  • 3 February 2011 16:38, by mack waweru

    As evidently said by the governor of BOSS that few do have huge financial assets deposited in accounts in Ivory and Buffalo Banks, the citizens must claim that money back by all mains.
    Right after independence, investigations must take place to know how few individuals became wealthy in six years. Corrupt-ors will have no place in south Sudan.

    Mack

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  • 3 February 2011 20:48, by Tobiin

    Guys, if we are intelligence enough to obverse this tragedies in south Sudan. These cases of crimes and corruption against innocence affected by war would have been removed since two years ago. But there are the so called born to rule with their mentalities cannot understand how democracy work, these individuals thought governing people is like cattle. Government instructions in the south are now for families and relatives not for every southerner. I bet we are heading for another tough time.

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  • 3 February 2011 22:21, by Dude

    Yes, sir,
    And the recent 27,000 SDG stolen by Chol Tong from Lakes State. Oh, what a greed

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