Minister warns of dependency on deteriorating oil wells

Puot Kang Chol, Minister of Petroleum (Photo Bida Elly David)

By Bida Elly David

The Minster of Petroleum, Puot Kang Chol has cautioned South Sudan against depending on petroleum as the main source of its economy noting that there will be decline of production after ten years thus the Country would face a gap of other sectors being not improved.

He said this during a Juba economic forum which kicked off yesterday and attended by many business entities, high government officials and senior economists.

Speaking during the function, minister Puot said that currently ninety percent (90) of the Country’s economy is surviving through the oil.

“We have to make sure that the proceeds of oil are used properly for the benefits of our people and we use that as catalysts to generate income to other sectors that will be income generating to South Sudan tomorrow. After ten years our oil will not be well again,” he said.

Puot said that it is through the petroleum sector that roads, health services, education and civil servant and military salaries are generated.

Petroleum Minister criticized skeptical people against  the ministry over management of  financial resources generated from the oil stating that his ministry only deals with production of the oil and it is the responsibility of the ministry of finance to manage the proceeds.

“Over responsibilities, we are always confused with the ministry of finance. When people talk about the ministry of petroleum, some do mistakes on the monetary part of it which is not our responsibility and it is important to bring it to your attention. We are only managing petroleum products but the proceeds are managed by the finance ministry,” he said.

Puot further said that partial benefits of the oil are partly given to the citizens inhibiting at the production scope of the petroleum differently from others who are not.

“If you are a citizen from the producing States there is a way you benefit maybe different from those who are not through community development fund such as provision of medical, education, road networks to connect them,” he said.

Puot Kang added that there is percentage that goes to the producing companies and the other to the government of South Sudan to prioritize for services to the citizens inform of salaries.

Moreover, the minister rubbished claims from local companies concerning award of contracts by the government saying that the companies failed to meet bidding criteria for the success of the contract.

He said that Chinese companies have taken lead in managing most government contracts due to the fact that they were competent and met all the technical and commercial criteria.

He pointed out that some local companies went as far as selling contracts awarded to them to foreign monopolies claiming that they executed initiatives.

Minister Puot Kang underscored that South Sudan government is for its people and has got priorities for its companies but quality service and performance determine the success to your reward.

He called on high institutions of learning to prioritize education for the nationals to bear competent skills towards serving the nation instead of leaving it to the foreign bodies.

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