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S. Sudan preparing to resume oil production in Unity state

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March 5, 2016 (JUBA) - South Sudan says it is preparing to resume oil production in the its new states of Northern Liech and Ruweng, amidst optimism move would boost the the struggling economy over the course of the three-year interim government period.

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A pipeline that transports crude oil from the south to Port Sudan (Reuters)

The country’s petroleum and mining minister, Stephen Dhieu Dau exclusively told Sudan Tribune Saturday that the young nation was in a dire economic situation because its economy heavily relies on oil since government has not yet diversified into other sectors.

“Frankly speaking, we were unable to diversify our economy. We relied on the oil and this is why we are much more disadvantaged by the lower oil prices”, said the minister.

The government’s main priority, Dau said, would be to utilise proceeds from the oil sold during the interim period to support development projects such as agricultural, physical infrastructure and other projects which would help in reinvigoration the economy.

"When peace holds and the transitional government of national unity is formed, the priority of the government would be designed to support agricultural projects. The proceeds of the oil will be used to support implementation of activities with positive economic impacts. The government will invest in physical infrastructure. There is strong need to build roads which would connect communities to farming areas", said Dau.

According to Dau, proceeds from oil will mainly be used to support agricultural activities.

“Soon the oil production will resume in northern Liech state and Ruweng. We are preparing to resume production soon. Our technicians have completed preparations. We are preparing to return to start production. We have talked to the state authorities, communities and the general command of the SPLA [South Sudan army]," stressed Dau.

“The protection of technicians is no longer an issue. The general command of the SPLA, local authorities and community leaders has given assurance of their safety to resume their work anytime we want them to start. There is no any security threat in Ruweng and Northern Liech states”, he added.

About 98% of South Sudan’s annual budget is funded by revenue from oil production, which massively declined as a result of the conflict that hit the nation in December 2013.

(ST)

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  • 6 March 2016 06:01, by Eastern

    Using the petrodollars to develop agriculture will happen when South Sudanese ruling elites give up the mentality of all wanting to be the crisp suite donning "big men" sitting in well furnished air-conditioned offices. Short of that, all Stephen Dau says remains a pipe dream!!!

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  • 6 March 2016 14:09, by Hardlinner

    so the babies in government are now starting to mature after economy down turn. i don’t think u will ever mature in thinking. even birds know how store their food for hard time, but not south Sudan politicians. you had it in your dumb minds that oil prices will always remain high without looking back at the history of crude oil prices. i will only believe u when u put what you said into practice.

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  • 6 March 2016 19:42, by Angelo Achuil

    Pumping & Selling more oil do not necessarily means roads will be built anymore than using many baskets to carry water home means more water. While few are bringing in some cash, many are busy tucking it away in foreign banks. We must first scrutinize "Government spending" - where money goes while chasing more cash.

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