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Kiir advises against crude oil advances

Author: Daniel Danis | Published: Saturday, June 15, 2019

Front: President Salva Kiir [center], new Petroleum Minister [Right] Daniel Awou, and new Jonglei Governor [Right] Maker Thiong -after the swearing of the 2 officials on Friday 14, June, 2019. PHOTO: South Sudan Presidential Press Unit/facebook.com/PPUJ1/

President Salva Kiir has instructed the new Minister of Petroleum not to demand or accept oil advances before the actual sale of South Sudan’s crude oil to the international market.

Kiir says the government should only receive money that is generated from the oil sale and not loans.

Recently, the International Monetary Fund said South Sudan habit of taking loans from various continental and global banks -with the promise to repay them with proceeds from future oil revenues -is expensive and nontransparent.

The former Minister of Petroleum, Ezekiel Lul Gatkuoth initiated resumption of oil production in major oil fields with the latest being al-Torr in Ruweng state.

Mr. Gatkuoth said South Sudan is now looking to pump more than 350,000 barrels of oil per day by the middle of next year.

Read related story: https://eyeradio.org/south-sudan-comply-opec-deal-boosting-oil-production/

South Sudan is currently pumping 140, 000 bpd.

The government this year signed a deal with a Chinese Shandong High-speed company to construct major roads in the country –against oil it will be extracting from the ground.

Read related story: https://eyeradio.org/chinese-company-to-begin-road-construction-in-2-weeks/

The IMF advises South Sudan to carefully manage oil revenues and stop contracting oil advances and focus on spending those revenues on immediate peace-related purposes instead.

It said said the available revenue should only finance budgetary spending.

The President– who witnessed the swearing in ceremony of the new Minister of Petroleum -agrees.

“…if our oil is a month away from being sold, let us not get anybody’s money,” Kiir said.

He told Daniel Awou “let us tie our belts and wait” and only receive income from sale of actual oil and not loans.

“I want from you Awou to ensure…we wait until our money comes from our oil. And ensure this money goes to the bank,” he added.

Mr. Awuo said he will ensure there is accountability in the sale of crude oil.

“These lasting values will be seen by the people of South Sudan, and everyone will be proud that we have resources, and that we have developed ourselves,” Awou said, adding that “Transparency will also help us gain more friends in this country.”

He also encourages line ministries to spend such funds on development, peace process and payment of civil servants.

The engineer called on the Ministry of Finance, and the Central Bank to work with other institutions to prudently manage public resources towards the intended purposes.

“It is the joint decision of this country -to work as one team is what that will help us to go the next level,” Awou asserted.

Both were speaking on the state television, SSBC, on Friday during the swearing in of Daniel Awou and the new Jonglei state governor, Maker Thiong Maal.

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