Opinion: Will introduction of new currency save South Sudan’s economy?

Oct 14 2020(Nyamilepedia) — The economy of south Sudan has been deteriorating day by day since the start of the armed conflict between the government and the opposition SPLA IO. The conflict resulted in devastation of infrastructures in the areas affected, collapse of delivery of social services by the government, loss of human lives, displacement of hundreds of thousands of innocent south Sudanese and many other committed crimes to mention a few.

South Sudan information minister and government spokesman Michael Makuei Lueth (Photo: file)

South Sudan information minister and government spokesman Michael Makuei Lueth (Photo: file)

The collapse of the country’s economy has negatively affected all ordinary citizens, working class, farmers etc except for those well positioned in the authority and with access to looting money from the government coffers. The collapsing economy has taken long without any tangible or positive interventions or results from the government to rescue the situation.

Millions of government employees in the states, counties have gone for more than 12 months without salaries. Companies and NGOs have phased out many staff who used to support their families and are now jobless. Many have been reduced to beggars and it is very frustrating indeed.

For all this long people have been crying of increasing commodity prices which the government cannot really control because we depend on imported commodities from neighboring countries and coupled with the insecurity country our farmers are not able to cultivate in their fields and produce food resulting in continuous hunger and starvation.

INTRODUCTION OF NEW CURRENCY:

The question everyone asks is will the introduction of new currency rescue the ailing economy in South Sudan? To me the answer is no, any introduction of new currency will instead worsen the situation? The government has rushed too quickly to introduce new currency as a remedy to rescue the collapsing economy without analyzing the root cause of the collapsing economy.

Apparently it is well known to the common people that the reason for the collapsing economy is the ongoing armed conflict, corruption by top officials who enjoy immunity from prosecution and transfer of looted money outside the country. Farmers have not been able to produce food because of insecurity resulting in an increase of food prices in the markets. Transportation of commodities has been hampered by insecurity on the roads, ambushes, loss of lives on the way etc.

WHO ARE HOARDING THE MONEY IN THEIR HOUSES?

Who is hoarding the money is a big question mark that the people at the decision making level should ask themselves. If millions of employees in South Sudan have not been paid salaries for over 12 months or are not being regularly paid which money do they have to hoard in their houses, and what money are they supposed to take to the banks? The ordinary people are struggling to survive and therefore have no money to take to the banks.

The people who are hoarding the money in their homes are those well positioned in authority who can grab money from the government treasury and these are the people that need to be followed up.

The people advocating for a new currency should understand that as long as the conflict and insecurity continues in the country even those people who have the money will never take their money to the banks even after introduction of the new currency.

They should also understand that hundreds of thousands of displaced persons who are in the bushes may still be holding the current money because they don’t have access to the banks. What is going to happen to these people who cannot come out of the bushes now? Some of those who had put their money in the banks may even return to find no money in their accounts because the banks keep chopping their money every day instead of offering interest.

SOLUTION TO RECOVERY OF COLLAPSING ECONOMY:

The only solution to recovery of the collapsing economy is to bring lasting genuine peace to South Sudan by successfully implementing the revitalized peace agreement as agreed by all parties, silence the guns, improve security so that investors can be encouraged to come to the country and the citizen should be able to do their own livelihood activities without interruptions. Above all the government should get rid of the corrupt untouchables in the systems.

I wish that the committee formed to look into the issue of new currency deliberate the matter with thorough understanding and come with recommendations that favor the suffering citizens of South Sudan.

Thanks

The author, Jur Molu, can be reached through email at jurmolu2020@gmail.com,


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