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Articles and Analysies «Š’›Õ… «Šŕ—»Ū… Last Updated: Dec 21, 2009 - 9:19:46 AM

Our Economy is in Serious Danger as GoSS fails to Act: BY: Peter Chuol Biel Badeang, SUDAN
Sudaneseonline.com

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Our Economy is in Serious Danger as GoSS fails to Act:

BY: Peter Chuol Biel Badeang, SUDAN

 

After a brief research and observation on our current economic activities in Juba, I am compelled to believe that most problems occurring in our economy today are due to the weaknesses of Government of Southern Sudan to monitor the most responsible institutions such as the Central Bank of Southern Sudan, Anti-Corruption Commission, and Ministry of Commerce and Industries GoSS that failed mysteriously to deliver, regulate, or monitor their supervisory job on both Private and Public Sectors.

Currently in Juba we hosted three (3) Foreign Banks and eighty seven (87) Hotels, which are completely run by foreigners. For instance, these banks came to Southern Sudan with their own bankers, managers, tellers, loan and mortgage officers without any supervision and involvement of citizens in the hiring process. As a result, these banks charged more money on people’s accounts monthly in term of dollars with less return to the people who are banking within those banks, which means that our people are getting completely no benefits.

Similarly to the hotels and small motels, all are managed from top to the bottom by foreigners; however, no South Sudanese person is being involved in management.

While the economy of Southern Sudan is going from bad to worse, Southern Sudan Central Bank (Bank of South Sudan BOSS), Revenue Authority, Ministry of Finance from both the state and the GOSS are not responding to this thorny issue which they will soon face and that will affect the future of the South Sudanese people.

The fact that Southern Sudan is the richest country in East Africa doesn’t mean that citizens cannot be hired by foreign investors. Looking at the past three years period particularly on the economic development in Southern Sudan , things were good and our economy was growing ever. But in the year 2009, one could only be so certain of the huge problems facing the Southern Sudan economy throughout its general industries, markets and its banking systems.

Sincerely speaking, it is time for Southerners to learn from these foreigners how to run businesses. Hiring Southerners in top management positions is the only benefit that our people can gained from those foreign investors. Should they leave this country one day; the knowledge learnt by our people from their companies will permanently remain with us.

In reference to that, on Oct 4, 2009 , I had written an article under the question: Is Southern Sudan in Recession or is our currency devalued? In that article, I had intended to raise the awareness of the Southern Sudan government officials, lawmaking body, as well as the intellectual community in southern Sudan on this most pressing issue called economic challenge in Southern Sudan .

Yet, no one seems interested to look closer to Southern Sudan ‚Äôs entire market system in order to save our currency value. Since then no action has been taken as a result and no change happened within regular market and black market as well.   Meanwhile, the beautiful Sudanese Pounds keep losing its value continuously as usual on what I called poor economics oversight.

Because of that, I am still quite curious since nobody in authority foresees the predicament arising in all corners of Southern Sudan business communities. Therefore, I must ask the general population of Southern Sudan that; what could we do in order to rescue our dying economy?   Can we as citizens investigate these national problems by ourselves without authority's involvement?

In my true humble opinion, some of these investors who came to Southern Sudan under the so-called "investments acts‚ÄĚ can be identified into two categories: (a) the ones that come for pure investment in Southern Sudan, and (b) the others that come to make money and leave immediately if problem occurs or get satisfied in Southern Sudan.

However, to give you the description of each of the two separately:

(a) Those that come for pure investment purposes in Southern Sudan : Believe more in people of Southern Sudan and the development of the community. They show their good deed by building permanent structures and strongly support the needs and interests of people of Southern Sudan . They aspire to build indisputable relations to the Southerners for sustainable Southern Sudan . Most importantly, they support and focus upon activities that build social and economic wellbeing of southerners both now and in the future. Under these investors we just need to encourage them to hire Sudanese Nationals within top management positions.

(b) In comparison, those that come to make money and leave immediately if problem occurs or get satisfied in Southern Sudan .   Believe more on daily cash at hand. They are not interested in building either temporary or permanent structures. They sleep where they work and they tend to keep their money with them and not in the banks. They collect more money daily and send the collected amounts off the country in unaccountable figures - in dollars.   

Realistically, let‚Äôs compare Southern Sudan to other countries within the same region, especially on businesses point of view.   If we agree to do so, can someone find any Southern Sudanese businesses operating in Kenya , Ethiopia , Uganda , Somalia , Rwanda , Eritrea , and Congo without citizens of such countries involvement in hiring process in those particular businesses?   

Definitely the answer is no. In the light of that, can somebody convince me that what is taking place now in Southern Sudan is pure and fair to citizens of this country?   Also, this is no.

When considering the economic troubles of 2009 budget year, any economist would agree with me that Southern Sudan has fallen out of balance since we are forced this year to budget less and operate within the so-called the Bare Minimum Costing.

Again, I must ask the intellectual community of Southern Sudan the following questions.   For example, if we are thinking about our economic strength, our future and the future of this country, why don‚Äôt we regulate how businesses operate in Southern Sudan ? Why Sudanese Nationals are not being hired within these companies? Are they not capable of managing businesses for these foreign investors?

Whose fault is it if we fail to recognize this huge exploitation of our economy by foreigners?   Is it the fault of MPs or our law-making bodies that fail to regulate how the market is being managed?   Or it is the citizen‚Äôs fault by refusing to work with private sectors?   

Honestly, the answer to these questions is not the citizens' fault.   Because in Juba , Southern Sudan Capital, we have three (3) foreign owned banks, which comprise of: Kenya Commercial Bank, Equity Bank, and Ethiopian Commercial Bank. These banks hired completely foreigners. However, some have good customers‚Äô services except KCB who monopolized currency exchange.

Besides, Juba hosts 87 Hotels and within these hotels you cannot find Sudanese nationals in the top positions except dish-washing and security guards.

Frankly speaking, what is taking place now in the areas of banking system and hotels in Southern Sudan is totally a clear weakness of the Central Bank of Southern Sudan , Ministry of Finance- both GoSS and State, and Ministry of Commerce and Industries GoSS. Partly because they are the one to oversee how the foreign banks, hotels, restaurants, and Currency Exchange Bureaus in Juba should hire their personnel and laborers.

The productions of unknown number of oil per barrels from Bentiu at this given year caught Southern Sudanese by surprises and resulted in the government operating within huge deficits which can total to more than $33 billion or (12 percent of Southern Sudan budgets) are lost.   

However, the total of fiscal budgeting gaps of 2009 equal to (24 percent) of the Southern Sudan ‚Äôs general funding.   As the full extent of 2010 budget gaps become known, shortfalls are likely to be equal to $145 billion based on expected economic deterioration in relationship to GoSS and state revenues toward the economy. The Financial distress in Southern Sudan is highly likely to continue into state fiscal year 2011, because the deficits exceeding those projected for 2010.   

In summary, these estimates described above are assumed greatly by the absence of an effective economic recovery and fiscal relief packages from GoSS. I believe GoSS action to regulate the market system in Southern Sudan could significantly reduce the size of these shortfalls. The GoSS and state revenue situation is rapidly worsening in Juba because revenues collection is not regulated or being remitted regularly in order to keep pace with the cost of services.

Therefore, the government revenues on both state and GoSS must grow more than last year because the overall revenues last year were essentially flat and are weakening dramatically this year.   

Another problem too, no such a thing as sales taxes so far in the Southern Sudan, reflecting a fall in both personal consumption and business purchases. For that purpose, government of Southern Sudan needs to establish a new policy on sales taxation.   

In conclusion, if our government of Southern Sudan could take this issue into an account very seriously. I would rather say that our government should come out with a very strong regulatory policy system in order to govern and control these foreign investors firms. Furthermore, the government needs to open doors for Southern Sudanese citizens to be employed by those firms in order to boost the economy of the Southern Sudan .

 


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