Oil money pays debts and the government’s priorities, Finance Minister reveals
AUTHOR: Chuol Jany | PUBLISHED: May 5, 2022
South Sudan Minister of Finance and Economic Planning, Hon. Agak Acuil speaks to the media on Thursday, May 5th 2022
South Sudan’s government disclosed it uses the oil money to pay the accumulated loans and keep the vital institutions running, including Presidency.
The Minister of Finance and Economic Planning, Hon. Agak Acuil said the government depends on oil money to pay salaries arrears and fund the peace process since locally generated revenue is insufficient to support the state.
“Maintaining all five Vice Presidents and the generals in the hotels is a lot of money, and that money was borrowed. So, some of your oil money was going for payment of these loans, which is why salary arrears build-up,” said Acuil.
During the news briefing on Thursday, the Minister told the media that oil prices were reduced to zero due to COVID-19, and floods contributed to oil production cuts.
“The oil production went down, and we are almost getting nothing, sometimes half cargo by the end of the month, which is shared with other consortiums that dig out oil. When that money comes, it’s shared among those companies and the government,” Hon. Acuil said.
According to the Minister, one cargo of crude oil brings nearly 20 million US dollars, but he said the oil is being sold in advance.
Acuil said such circumstances forced the country to take repayment loans from other financial institutions to keep the government existing.
He argued that government is the only donor to the peace agreement, and it uses oil money.
“There was no other country that has helped the government of South Sudan to fund peace. But Japan and China, the only countries who have supported us, contributed tents for the cantonment.”
The Minister pledged to clear three-month salary arrears for January, February, and March before the end of May.
“I told my people to prepare the monthly pay sheet for January, February, and March. Where might you go to get the money if the oil has been sold in advance until 2027? That meant I will go to 2028 to ask somebody to give me money such that by 2028 he will be given that oil,” he emphasized.
The Minister made this remarked following his returned from Washington DC in the United States where South Sudan participated in the World Economic Outlook submit 2022.