President Kiir appoints new Central Bank governor

Johnny Ohisa, newly appointed Central Bank Governor-File Photo

By Bida Elly David

President Salva Kiir Mayardit has appointed Johnny Ohisa Damian as the new governor of the Bank of South Sudan, succeeding his predecessor Moses Makur Deng after he was recently removed from his duties.

This development came in a Presidential decree issued by President Kiir on Thursday evening read over the State run broadcaster SSBC after noticing the capabilities of the successor during his probation period while acting as the caretaker governor of the Central bank after Makur was axed.

President Kiir this month axed the former governor of the Bank of South Sudan, Moses Makur Deng together with the former Minister of Finance Agak Achuil Lual amid the country’s runaway hyperinflation.

The former heads of the financial dockets were axed after continuous economic recession dominated by the appreciation of the US dollars against South Sudanese pounds leaving market position under the state of jeopardy.

The former boss of the Central Bank had tried to use auction of more foreign currency into the money market as an instrument to strengthen the value of the local currency but despite most of these trials, the method contributed less in transforming the money market.

The incumbent governor who gained trust from the President for his appointment served as the first Deputy Governor in charge of policy and banking at the Bank of South Sudan in 2021. He also served as an acting governor after his predecessor was axed following decline in the country’s economic position.

Damian also worked as a managing Director in charge of international commercial bank and served the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) in Sudan, Kenya and the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) at the same position.

At a separate Republican Decree, President Kiir also relieved the first deputy of the Central Bank and appointed the managing director of equity bank Mr. Addis Ababa Othow to the position of the first deputy governor of the Bank of South Sudan.

At the same note, economic analysts were contented by the decision taken by the President appointing Damian to the position after realizing future potential and capability he has towards running the country’s Bank.

Speaking to No.1 Citizen Daily Newspaper yesterday, Abraham Matoch, an economic analyst urged the new governor to control all commercial banks in regards to circulation of money in the market as well as suggesting allocation of loans to the investors and farmers to boost domestic production.

He said the new governor must introduce fiscal and monetary policy that will enable the local currency to gain value instead of losing.

“We need to see that our currency has the value and he should ensure introduction of gold. That gold will be given to the International Monetary Fund (IMF) as collateral that will make our currency stronger,” he underscored.

Matoch underlined that the policy of leaving the country to run a free market economy was one of the factors that contributed to the current economic recession since monopolists take advantage of dominating businesses with effective inflation.

He reiterated much need for the newly born Central bank to ensure shifting the Country from free market economy into central economic system where government controls the market.

“This wrong policy of having a Country of free economy or free market economy has to be addressed by the Central bank since we are still a developing economy. He should come up with policies that will stimulate the development of the economy and these free businesses of the market where monopolists dominate have to be controlled in a way of fixing prices that should be adhered to by all traders,” he said.

Matoch added that oil is a volatile resource that the Country will not depend on unless a stabilization account is created specifically for covering other gaps for uncertainties like serving the purpose meeting miscellaneous.

He finally said that auctioning more dollars into the market would not transform the crippled economy into betterment rather it jeopardizes.

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