September 18, 2013 (BENTIU) – The Deputy Governor of Unity Mabek Lang De Mading has said that if the state could get 5% of oil revenue from the central government in Juba, it would be able to build roads and improve other basic services for its residents.
- Residents dig a drainage ditch as flooding destroys their homes in Daresalam village, Bentiu, Unity, August 15, 2012 (ST/ Bonifacio Taban)
“We are actually targeting the 5% for our development activities in the state and we have a lot of priorities that we have raised. We have the issue of roads. Without roads we will not gain any development. In Unity state our priority is roads to allow the movement of people and business,’’ said Mading.
Unity state currently gets 2% of oil revenues from the central government.
During negotiations on the 2005 Comprehensive Peace Agreement between north and south Sudan oil producing states were given 2% of money of the oil revenue.
But Simon Wicgoah Riek, a resident of Bentiu says that money is not enough adding, without giving examples that he does not trust the central government as it had failed to deliver on previous promises.
“Many times government promises have not worked. We cannot put our trust on their [central government] promises,’’ said Riek.
Maguong Dual Gai, a blacksmith in Bentiu said what he and the other residents want is an improvement in social infrastructure.
“What we need most are roads, hospital and school, if such services are delivered in the ten states of South Sudan we cannot say our government is bad, but if they fail to deliver us services we will not trust them”, said Gai.
Deputy Governor Mading says the new state government will not repeat past mistakes of the previous government which affected service delivery.
“The mistakes that were committed by the former cabinet will not be repeated by the new cabinet. We will be cautious on how we use our money. We will also promote transparency on how we use money,’’ said Mading.
Many residents are excited by the prospects of Unity state getting 5% of the oil revenue from the central government in the hope that it will improve their lives.