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Governor Alic, Minister Awow face heat over SSP devaluation

By Bida Elly David

 

Members of Parliament are increasing pressure on the Minister of Finance, Awow Daniel Chuang, and the Governor of the Central Bank, Dr. James Alic Garang to arrest the worsening economic turmoil.

They (minister and governor) are waiting for a parliamentary inquiry into the country’s worsening economic crisis.

Lawmakers are frustrated by the lack of effective reforms, despite promises from the financial institutions.

Inflation continues to spiral, and the South Sudanese Pound (SSP) is weakening against the US Dollar.

The exchange rate on Monday saw $1 trade for SSP 3,100 (selling) and SSP 3,150 (buying), further fueling inflation anxieties.

Legislators believe the situation is unprecedented for an oil-rich nation like South Sudan.

“The situation is dire,” said lawmaker James Kueth, the government’s chief whip during yesterday’s sitting.

“We cannot watch our citizens’ struggle while leadership seems indifferent” Kueth stressed.

In response, Speaker Rt. Hon. Jemma Nunu Kumba emphasized the serious need for accountability of public finances.

“The Minister of Finance and the Central Bank Governor must explain the reasons behind the weakening of South Sudanese Pounds (SSP) and rising inflation,” she said.

The parliament had resolved that these two institutions the central bank and finance ministry will be summoned first, followed by others.

However the exact date for their appearance is yet to be determined.

Central Bank Governor’s recent warnings about the SSP’s decline underscore the urgency to arrest the runaway inflation.

While the Bank is attempting to mitigate inflation, lawmakers are demanding concrete solutions.

 

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