South Sudan government lifts fuel subsidies

Boda-boda motor cycles as they line-up for fuel n one of petroleum station in Juba (Photo credit: VOA)

Boda-bodas line-up for fuel in one of petroleum stations in Juba (Photo credit: VOA)

May 11th 2018 (Nyamilepedia) – South Sudan government has decided to lift the fuel subsides which has been in place for long time.

The decision by the government was reached during the weekly cabinet meeting held in the capital Juba on Friday.

Speaking to reporters after the meeting, deputy information minister, Lily Albino Akol Akol, said  the government has directed the ministers of finance, the ministry of petroleum – as well as the government petroleum company Nilepet – has been directed to implement the order immediately.

“Lifting fuel subsidy will start immediately, The ministers of finance and petroleum as well as Nilepet have been directed to start lifting the fuel subsidies with immediate effect,” she told journalist.

South Sudan has in recent years suffered financial deficit as the current civil war rages on in its fifth year.

The government has decided to reallocate the money it used to give to companies like Nilepet to important subsided oil into the country saying that subsiding oil did not help the intended recipients.

“The Council of Ministers noticed and acknowledged that the citizens of South Sudan are indeed suffering, and the fuel subsidy which was meant to alleviate the economic conditions of most of our citizens is not happening,” Lily Albino Akol Akol, deputy Minister of Information, continued.

Lifting oil subsidies means prices in the market will subsequently increase leading to higher inflation.

South Sudan descended into civil war in December 2013 after forces loyal to the country’s president, Salva Kiir Mayardiit and his then Governor of Northern Bahr Al-Ghazal State Gen. Paul Malong Awan went door-to-door in the capital Juba killing civilians belonging to the Nuer ethnic group sparking a nation-wide protests from top army generals from the Nuer leading to a civil war.

A peace agreement signed in August 2015 by President Kiir and rebel leader Riek Machar and negotiated under the auspices of the Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD) and the African Union (AU) in presence of Troika and other international observers collapsed in July 2016 following fighting at the presidential palace in Juba “J1”.

The IGAD has employed an initiative called High-Level Revitalization Forum to bring back the peace agreement. Previous rounds of the HLRF has been unsuccessful and the IGAD said it expect the warring parties to negotiate on the last round on 17th of May. This week, the IGAD invited all the stakeholders to Ethiopian capital Addis Ababa for consultations for consultations.