JUBA – South Sudan’s Ministry for Petroleum has allayed fears that the alarming borrowing rate will rid future generations off their fortune and live in a debt state for years without significant development.
A press statement from the department of Petroleum and Mining extended to the Upper Nile Times quelled recent media reports that $500 million were ushered into the government’s account from a Qatari Bank lender early this week at a higher rate which will take the total payback to 867 million over 5 years. The Ministry of Petroleum’s advice was sought when the Qatari bank was approached to comment on the total oil reserves estimate both untapped and already tapped. The agreement also details that loan payment can also be made in crude oil with less premium attached if the global oil and gas market continues to falters.
“The government borrowed the sum (without disclosing) from a Qatari bank….This is a normal operational procedure of any country in the world. Every country has its own debts to cater for its projects. We are ware of the interest of the loan but the loan is not paid in a year and so it should not alarm the public. Foreign loans are paid in installments which can take up to 10 or 20 years. In this country, we have a lot projects as a government. so through the parliament, the only way these milestons can be reached is to borrow these money” Reads the document in part.
South Sudan’s economy sharply deteriorates since the conflict erupted in December 2013. Government in Juba is footing the bills of UPDF soldiers from Uganda it invited to fight alongside it against the opposition rebels. The regime also has contingents of loose militias mostly from North Sudan under their payroll. Moreover, as the price of oil continued to decline, the government has no any answers from this catastrophic global downturn. recently, an official in the bank of South Sudan disclosed that they might start to print local currencies currently in shortage due to inflation.
Analysists estimated in 2012 that the current South Sudan crude reserves can only last 26 years. Coupled with continued fighting, the economy of South Sudan is expected to suffer further with billions of losses each year.
THE UPPER NILE TIMES