National, News

Oil money not enough for development

By Adia Jildo

The Deputy Minister of Finance Agok Makur has urged the government to prioritize agriculture rather than depending entirely on oil money for development.

Agok made this statement during the launch of South Sudan Environment Conservation Society aimed at creating awareness on environmental conservation on Monday.

According to the national budget for the fiscal year 2021/2022, the Ministry of Finance and Planning estimated that the oil revenues accounts for 91% of the budget generation, and only 9 % of the national budget will be financed by the non-oil revenue collections.

The Deputy Finance Minister said the Ministry of Finance gets resources from the oil fields which are affected by the reduction of prices of oil and the effect of oil energy.

“Our oil is not like before. We are facing a drop in the prices of oil because of Covid-19 and other factors. The wars that happened in 2013 and 2016 are all facing our income resources in South Sudan,” said Agok.

He underscored that dependence on oil revenue is having a great effect on the environment hence climate change which affects a large population in South Sudan.

Makur noted that they generate the money through the oil and as the Ministry of Finance gets resources from the oil fields, the abundant land can be used to put agriculture as a source of earning and development.

He said the Ministry of Finance and the government of South Sudan should give priority to environment and agriculture due to the presence of suitable arable land in the country. “Now we are facing problem because we have the resources but we are in poverty,” he underlined.

Dr. James Wani Igga, the Vice President for Economic Cluster, while speaking over the weekend in a public occasion said they want to increase agricultural production by increasing the budget for agriculture.

“The oil revenues we are going to use it for supplementing agriculture. We want to increase our budget for agriculture, because if we South Sudanese depend on food imports from outside, then we are slaves of those people. The day they close their roads, we will suffer,” he said.

“So, we must produce and we use the oil money therefore to produce food first and then after we go for roads,” Dr. Igga emphasized.

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