Home | News    Wednesday 30 November 2016

South Sudan unveil measures to improve non-oil revenues

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November 29, 2016 (JUBA) - The South Sudanese government has unveiled measures aimed at closing gaps created by drops in the production of oil resources.

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An oil field in South Sudan’s Unity State. (Photo: UN / Tim McKulka)

South Sudan’s economy is currently in dire straits as the local currency, South Sudan Pound has fallen by over 50% and revenue generated from oil, the mainstay of foreign earnings, is at its lowest in the past years, leading to macroeconomic spillovers and consequent quest for economic diversification.

Unveiling the strategies seeking to close the gap, the country’s deputy finance minister, Mary Jervas Yak, said the government wants to generate non-oil revenues and that revenue collected would be used to fund larger parts of the national budget.

"While oil may be our biggest source of revenue, looking at the current economic situation, it may be wise to explore other options," explained the deputy minister.

Yak, however, said situation in the war-torn nation required her institution to raise the bar by deepening and expanding its tax collection drive through an aggressive tax system, considering the dwindling revenue profile as a result of the drop in oil prices.

"In the meantime, funds looted and stashed in foreign accounts should be recovered by the government. These stolen monies run in billions of dollars, which is enough to sustain an economy for a couple of years," she stressed.

According to the deputy finance minister, President Salva Kiir has written to some western countries asking their involvement to help trace the money and return stolen assets stashed in foreign banks, adding that in order to accrue revenue from non-oil sectors, the government needs to tackle electricity issues throughout the country.

"This will help attract global investments for massive industrialisation, which will subsequently increase our internally generated revenue," explained the official.

The minister said government would revamp and carry out major reforms in education and health care systems so that tertiary institutions will churn out graduates who are employers of labour and not go abroad for better opportunities.

If the health system is revamped, the official emphasized, worthy services will be rendered to the citizens and the productive capacity of human resources will be optimised thus increasing life expectancy.

"Similarly, good road infrastructure should be built and existing ones properly maintained to facilitate inter-state commerce and mobility," she added.

Speaking at the non-oil revenue collection management workshop in progress in Juba, a Japanese official said it was time the government should work hard to improve its tax collection system to generate more non-oil revenues.

Higeru Hamano, a Japan’s embassy representative at the workshop on non-oil revenue collection, said tax was a very authentic source of government revenues.

“Revenue is a gift for the government and that is why Japan thinks that South Sudanese Government needs to improve its tax system to help South Sudan build its social infrastructure and deliver various social services,” Hamano said on Monday.

“The Government must be accountable to its citizens and such accountability must be exercised through effective parliamentary control. Every minister at the state level is accountable to parliament.”

The training was organized by the Ministry of Finance and Economic Planning in collaboration with United Nations Development Program and Government of Japan.

The resident representative for the UNDP, Eugene Owusu said they were helping in building a strategic financial management system for government institutions.

He pledged readiness to engage stakeholders from the private sector, development partners and the civil society.

“We’d like to build partnership not only the government and state authorities at the local level, but also seek the engagement of the private sector, civil society organizations and development partners,” said Owusu.

“As UNDP, we will continue to provide strategic policy advisory support to the state Government financial management system, we will support budgeting and development planning if we are to succeed in building a transparent financial management system at the state levels which I insist will lessen South Sudan’s reliance financial deficits and South Sudan’s dependency on aid and donor support in a step by step progressive manner," he added.

(ST).

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  • 30 November 05:24, by Naath

    The Dinka tribal gang leaders are now feeling the pain of economic collapse as Dinka population from all corners of South Sudan are fleeing to Sudan with high speed due to hunger their tribal leader created. The Dinka from all walk sang enjoyful songs, danced, shot guns in the air when Nuer were massacred in Juba in December 2013, they thought the dead Nuer salaries would boost their economic.

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    • 30 November 05:35, by Naath

      Although these wars destroyed the Nuer land to the core, I am glad my people responded to the barbaric killing of Nuer by the Dinka tribal leaders in Juba. Kiir is the world foolish Dinka tribal chief among all the South Sudanese tribal chiefs. He will never ever achieve anything in his life except killing of his voters who voted him to power.

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  • 30 November 09:42, by Dengda

    I hope the minister said and ready to push hard for implementation. I know they said things and leave there and done opposite. Other important factor which the minister fail to mention issue of insecurity. Implement peace with Riek and security will improve drastically. Current example famers in western and central equoria fled their leaving product rotten. Rent sorghum large scale farm not revive

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    • 30 November 09:49, by Dengda

      Tax collected end up individual pocket, business people can’t transport their goods far and apart from Juba because of insecurity and poor or no road at all. people talk of such important reforms and accountability, you will quick labelled as rebel or anti-government and government which they want everyone to support is doing what the suppose to do. Really basic things, like developing wild sector

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  • 30 November 10:15, by hamil

    Whichever options the government comes up with to tackle the ailing economy it won’t bear fruit. The country is infested with war the roads that link the capital are unsafe to travel through....When will the government ever learn that it is only "GENUINE PEACE" that will take the country back to what it was in 2005-2012? Forget the JCE who you call decision makers. Those are blood thirst criminals

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  • 30 November 10:25, by Chang Kuony

    Dear Deputy Minister Jarvas Yak
    How can we improve economic downturn and prevent collapsed economy of South Sudan while the President Salva Kiir Mayardit himself is a corrupted and ringleader of thieves in RSS. In less than 4 years of independence Dinka Rek of Aweil and Warap alone has got 5 billionaire thieves under Salvatore weak government.South Sudan will be free corrupt country after Salva K

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  • 30 November 10:54, by mr.chris

    Not only corruption,but also the level of illiteracy,especially those working in the economy sector. Unless you device appreciate strategy so that people apply and selection is done based on educational qualifications rather than decree and appointment which is based on tribal lines.

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  • 30 November 12:27, by De Maybe

    @chris.
    I agree with you, but most of them provide the path but the powers of implementation lies in the hands of people who feel their deals will be tempered with by some truthful economic plans.

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