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Meet the former Minister of Finance and Economic Planning Stephen Dheiu Dau

Stephen Dheiu Dau

Stephen Dheiu Dau is a South Sudanese politician. He was the Minister of Finance and Planning from July 2016 to March 2018. Dheiu also served as the Minister of Petroleum and Mining in the South Sudan. Currently, he is engaged in farming. Could you kindly introduce yourself?

Thank you, my name is Stephen Dheiu Dau Ayiek, I was Born in Melut in 1/1/1963, I studied my Education up to University level, I sat for Sudan School Certificate in 1985, I was accepted in the University and I graduated from the University of Cairo in 1990, up to date, it is something to do with 32 years. In 1991, I was appointed in the Central Bank of Sudan, I served in the Bank for quite some years. First, I was employed as Administration Officer, I also served in the directorate of foreign currency and foreign relation in the bank, and I served in the bank for so long until I reached to the position of Deputy Head of department, also I was assigned in the committee that was formed between the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement and Sudan Government to change the local currency from Dinar to Sudanese pounds.

By then I was the Secretary of the committee in Sudan, in 2007 I was appointed as Minister of Finance, Trade and Industry in Upper Nile State, and after the even that the country witnessed, I was appointed as Minister for Industry. Therefore, after the independence of the country, I was assigned by the leadership of the country to be the Minister of Petroleum. I spent quite a long time up to 2016, after peace agreement was signed, I got back to Ministry of Trade for a duration of two months and half, but in 27/7, I was assigned as Minister of Finance and Economic Planning.

What are your most achievements in the two Ministries that you administered?

In fact, the people of South Sudan are the only ones who can evaluate What I have achieved, but for me personally, in my term, the oil section was established in the Republic of South Sudan, I can say in my term the Administration of oil was transferred from Khartoum to Southern Sudan, also the enactments of laws that governed the oil sector was form in my term, because after we assumed the oil sector from Khartoum Government by then, we don’t have rules, because South Sudan became independent State, we should have a law that governed important source, secondly the Oil sector itself in terms of Administration, and well qualified employed person were done during my term in the office, also the projects such as downstream and storage system and NilePet beside other projects. Also in my term as Minister of Petroleum, the Oil Field faced a lot of challenges, the Oil was blocked by the Government in 2012, and after the war that the country witnessed, the price decreased in 2014, all the political, Economic and security challenges, I manage to Administered this resource and this is very important issue.

According to you, what is needed from us to move with the country economically?

The only way to move with our Country economically, is to cooperate with the international Community, South Sudan just like the other Countries was affected by price of basic product such as Oil and other products, also the Country was affected by spread of Pandemic disease Covid-19 and natural disasters such as floods, all these political and natural problems affected the Economic situation in the Country, the Government should start the reform with support from International Monetary Fund and others.

Show us what kind of reform is needed?

There is a type of reform called structural reform, if there’s institution that support the Economy, it should be managed, also human resource should become considered, the right person should be in the right place. avoiding giving support for consumption of item, the issue of supply and demand should be considered in the Market, also Control Government Consumption, trade transparency should be considered in the public work, activation of non-oil resources which is direct and indirect taxation, addition to that availability of Agriculture and other products, in order not to rely on imported items.

You as Minister of Petroleum by then, what have you done in regard to the issue of natural pollution?

The natural pollution is already there since the Oil is operated in the Country, especially in Paloch and Adar as the first area, in 2015 after the signing of the peace Agreement, the oil was operated from Khartoum, after the independence, South Sudan took over the Oil work, we started to revise the face one which is related with environment, the issue was revise by the national committee which was headed by Elario Anyai and other colleagues from South Sudan, Dr. Benjamin Malek, those Doctors started assessment but all these cannot be done unless through a company because the revision of the environment is technical work, so I hope that the Ministry of Petroleum to start testing the people.

You mean the issue is already discussed?

Yes, we discussed the issue, we proposed three big companies to do that work, but the incident of 2013 disrupted the work of the Ministry, and we all know that the western Countries declared that South Sudan is not secure, that is why they didn’t visit the areas of Oil field. The areas of Northern Upper Nile are effect by flood and heavy rains, especially Adar and Melut and other areas of Oil field.

What are the steps taken by you as Community representative and Government Official?

What the Country is suffering from nowadays is flood and heavy rains and it was a natural issue, which did not happen before, we as the leadership of Melut Community, we make communication at the state level, we tell them about the dangers of floods to the areas of Melut and Northern Upper Nile as result of petroleum waste, the authorities concern directed Ministry of Transport and DPOC to start their work to rescue the situation over there, according to our analysis in the area the flood is because of petroleum, the operation of petroleum blocked the road, also my area is effected by the flood.

Why don’t you give pressure to the companies’ such that to rescue the situation in the area?

All these companies built and invested over there before South Sudan got its independence, and if there are partnership by then, we could tell them because we as the Community of the area, we know the nature of the area, the companies did not study the nature of the area, that is why the area is effected, I have to take this chance, I am appealing to oil Company and Ministry of Transport to put what is taking place in the area in there consideration such that to speed up with the necessary arrangement .

As leader of the Community do you have projects that can change Melut and Adar areas to good areas that can benefit from Oil revenue?

Yes, the planning of investment in the area, we be completed, and one of our achievements when I was in the Ministry was the issue of three percent which was not there before. Before the independence, the Country CPA gives two percent to State that produce the oil, and after we became an independent state, we say the people effected should be compensated from the Oil by three percent, and this one was done as law and applied on the ground in 2014, but due to security situation in the country and the issue of Oil prices decreasing, it would become bigger, and after General Audit report before 2021, the two percent and three percent since 2012 to November 2020 is about sixty million counted by the Ministry, and we as a Community, we monitor with the authorities until we have done our projects in the area.

This project will be done soon, and I am giving thanks to the Ministry of Finance, it is starting to release some little funds monthly, and we as a Community, we urge the Commissioner and the Committee of the three percent to consider the transparency, the committee which is formed by the Community is there and it consist of Seven persons and sat with the Commissioner and committee is doing investment in some payams over there, they built two schools now, in our consideration, we will work with the committee of the three percent, in order for the three percent to put into investment projects in the area, to provide water for our people and open roads to our people in Melut , renovation of schools and so many projects.

After your reshuffle, you get back to agriculture, what is the motive behind?

Yes, I went to the farm, so many people told me that what are doing here, go to Juba and stay there, because the President is your friend and he can assist you financially, I said no, my intention is to send massage to people of South Sudan that agriculture is a human activity and everyone should do it, also there’s no country that can go straight forward without agricultural activities because it is very important to everyone worldwide, I am the member of Sudan People Liberation Movement and the same time I am a farmer.

What is needed from us as South Sudanese Citizen to do after the war which destroyed some areas in the Country?

I am urging our leaders in South Sudan to send peace massages to our people, also we should forgive ourselves, because South Sudan is a big Country, it will contain all South Sudanese, is about 680000 kilometers square with a lot of natural resource and it is bigger than Kenya, Burundi Uganda. South Sudan has a very big land you can cultivate and do so many work, according to me, no need for us to fight our self.

What is your massage to the entire people of Upper in General and Melut in particular in order to stay in peace and harmony?

My massage to the people of Upper Nile is that they should stay in peace, they have to return back to respect and love between ourselves as people of Upper Nile, we have to forgive each other. In order to achieve investment, my message to the people of Northern Upper Nile is that God gave us a fertile land for agriculture and petroleum beside water resource and forestry, so we have to Love ourselves as South Sudanese citizen.

This was a joint interview

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