By Tereza Jeremiah Chuei
South Sudan’s Minister of Finance and Planning Agak Achuil Lual has disclosed that the country’s gold reserve which should have been mined to salvage the oil dependent ailing economy is being stolen.
Minister Agak made his sentiments on the country’s gold minerals during the launching of World Bank grant funded project of enhancing Community Resilience and Local Governance Project phase II, on Wednesday.
Agak who recently made a shocking revelation that the South Sudan’s oil has been sold in advance till 2027, saying the Government had borrowed against the oil proceeds in advance, couldn’t reveal the players stealing the gold mines.
He only went onto explain that the country would have diversified its economy through mining of minerals such as the gold in addition to the oil and boost agriculture as various ways of reducing fluctuation of prices in the market.
Agak stressed that one of the ways to rescue the economy is through investing in the mining industry, producing gold, exclaiming that “Our Gold Is Being Stolen” however, the question of who is pocketing the gold is a question that remains in suspense!
“We need to invest in Mining sector, to produce gold, but our gold is being stolen now, and if we are to produce the gold through the right channel, we will be diversifying our economy, with project in agriculture and project in other things and then we produce our own food and the prices will go down,” Achuil asserted.
The Finance Minister reiterated the need to diversify the country’s economy, saying South Sudanese can produce their own local food, and only we import some essential things from outside, which will reduce the prices.
Agak further emphasized that the other way to mitigate and settle the issue of high inflation is by constructing roads, and eliminating the rampant road blocks interfering with transportation of goods.
He said road blocks extorts money from traders which in turn leads to traders increasing prices as a way to recovering their losses incurred in unnecessary charges.
He cited that; some parts of the country are currently producing some food but lack of roads connectivity to ferry the produce to the market remains another stumbling block.
“Some few days back I saw world Food Programme buying sorghum from Renk area of Upper Nile State and that means there is enough sorghum in Renk area, but the problem is the transportation, there are some food in some corners of the country,” Minister Agak underscored.
He however, said if sustainable peace and stability prevailed people will settle and produce food and government will be conditioned to construct the roads.