27th November 2020
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Dier Tong returns to empty central bank

Author: Garang Abraham | Published: Tuesday, November 3, 2020

Dier Tong as the governor of the central bank in January 2020 | Credit | Emmanuel Akile/Eye Radio.

President Salva Kiir has fired Jamal Wani as governor of the Central Bank amidst the economic meltdown.

In a presidential decree read on state-run television on Monday evening, Kiir replaced Jamal with his predecessor, Dier Tong.

Jamal succeeded Dier in January and served for only 10 months.

Dier Tong was initially appointed governor of the central bank in May 2018, replacing Othom Rago Ajak. He was fired in January 2020.

But Kiir decided to rehire him into the same position by removing Jamal Wani.

As usual, President Kiir’s decrees do not provide any explanation or rationale behind the State House actions.

But economists attribute the firing of Jamal to recent revelations that the bank had depleted its foreign reserves.

In August, Jamal Wani told the press that the national bank did not have enough foreign reserve as it used to due to low revenue collections and conditions created by the coronavirus pandemic.

The minister of trade and industry had also told a select parliamentary committee that the bank was unable to regulate operations of commercial banks because of a huge debt it owes them.

Kuol Athian revealed that Equity, Ivory, KCB, Ecobank and Cooperative Bank demand about $92 million from the central bank.

It is not clear why the bank borrowed such amount locally.

In October, the government announced plans to inject hard currency into the market through the central bank and other commercial banks to control the economy.

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