South Sudan must not waver in its decision to keep oil production shut
By Isaiah Abraham
February 28, 2012 — The decision made in January 2012 by the Council of Ministers for the Government of the people of South Sudan, and passed by the National Assembly to shut down oil productions in the country shouldn’t be reversed, even if the distance future for another production looks so remote. The idea has been greeted with an overwhelming backing, and as a result it remains an important popular national decision. The decision should have been taken immediately after independence of the Republic in July 2012, but somewhere it never came to being.
Diverse the economy
On the question of the economy, in relations to dependency on oil , a lot has been said about the need to diverse sources of our national income, and it is just about time to use this ‘crisis’ of cash shortage to revive our economic practices afresh. Our economy has been in trouble even before the oil issue came into being. We never valued money, a sad thing indeed. Our macroeconomic was without direction and impact will be felt for many years to come.
Some groups in collaboration with some fat cats among us were/are fleecing our economy for the benefit of themselves and people from the outside. They must be stopped! Economic sound measures are to be put in place to protect the interest of the people of the South Sudan Republic. We have generations of entrepreneurs knocking for opportunities; they are to be helped!
No one will do better than the Southerner. We are free to manage our affairs. It is inexcusable to find our people with big papers employed by a foreigner in our land. Our government must get tough and tamed foreign economic aggressors or exploiters. If someone controls your stomach, he/she will have a say on others, and this was what precisely the situation we left behind in the Sudan. Economic independence is equally like a political one. Someone must do something our economic revival.
After the shutdown of oil production therefore, our people must not look back or compromise so to start returning our market through the Republic of the Sudan. There is no way again for our leadership in Juba to rush back to beg Khartoum for continuation of facilities usage. We will find our way here, and around our friendly countries not anymore through the rogue Republic called the Sudan.
The halting of oil production has not only helped the new country focus on other unattended resources, but has helped the nation build on its consensus about its tomorrow. We have come together again like during Referendum exercise, and this spirit ought to be upheld and maintained. I’m more proud of my people than any other time before; the future for my people is bright. What a people!
I thank our big brothers (Kiir and Machar) for the depth of their insight and courage to wade through difficult decisions. I have a feeling now that the two should be left alone, but wish that they have more in the likes of Gen. Dr. Majak D’ Agoot, Dr. Milly Hussein and Madame Nunu Kumba. The future is bright, despite problems here and there; this is normal in an nation building. We will overcome!
Oil stolen was a fault by South Sudanese employed in the National Ministry
But not to carry you away after the commendation, Juba should now inwardly look at everything related to the next focus, and on top is the managerial aspects of our affairs in general, and the future of our human resources that have staffed the Government of the people of South Sudan. We have so many personnel, who claim to have passed their higher education classes, but majority of them unfortunately are unproductive, a gloom prospects for the new country.
Oil couldn’t have been stolen that much had our people in the National Oil Ministry knew what they were supposed to be doing in their respective duties. I challenge key members of our society who worked then under Khartoum, why did they fail to sound an alarm about oil production actual figures, the data and exact number of oil wells in operations. They are part of the problem we are experiencing now.
Some of them are still carrying their brave faces by arguing that they couldn’t do anything because Khartoum was secretive about information or data about oil. That wasn’t enough an answer but lame thing to dodge the ownership of the matter in question. In which way could that be the truth? Our people need not to hide behind their limitations to do things better. Leadership has a portion of blame anyway.
The government could have trained people on the technical stuff about oil. Now is time to re+think training; this is an ongoing, and our sons and daughters need to access the knowledge on the same.
Apologists must keep off
I have said the above lines because some leaders have started to crack by blaming government for stopping the ‘milk’ from flowing; that the decision to shut down oil production will have an impact on the economy then to the people through services. We know these people by their colors and even now, nothing shall worry our people from their hullabaloos and machinations against the people of South Sudan. They have betrayed then and are wasting time now to sabotage our plans and progresses towards our economic emancipation.
One of them who did a disservice while serving as a tall minister has turned to internet using kawaja name to advance his treacherous activities in the name of change and progressiveness. He mistakenly thought that some of us are seeking job when we write, shush! Mr. Kiir has since forgotten some of us and we have lived up to our presence status, with no complain or push for employment whatsoever. He is the president and couldn’t hire everyone at the same time.
About the economy, yes for a while, there will be an economic ‘pain’, but in the long run, the decision to deny our archenemy the resources is too good and in place. Please if you have nothing to oppose, just keep quiet, the matter is too grave for an apologist or a loser to poke his/her dirty mind in it.
I’m back again to salute our leader Comrade Salva Kiir Mayardit and his able team led by a warrior Comrade Pagan Amum Okiech for a job well done. Brother Amum has shown again and again that he is there for the people of South Sudan, something a gang of malicious men and busy bodies among us are hell bound to die about. They must shut up, and leave such rare shots to do the job for them.
Wait a minute: why would anyone think that the decision to construct our own refineries and pipe lines through others (other than the Republic of the Sudan) would affect our people? That mentality must change or it has to be changed; we got to stand together behind our government on this noble and national duty of mastering our own resources. The measure (the stoppage of oil) is ephemeral and things by this time around next year would just be fine.
One of the skeptical is none other than is Dr. Luka Biong, a man I had esteemed for sometime because of his Southern spirit in his heart. The question to him is: what action are you talking about brother Biong. The Head of State along with his team including the Ministry concerned are doing their very best to keep us offload in the tide of the economic meltdown. Why didn’t you join them to find an alternative (s) to the situation at hand, than criticize? You are a top senior member of the ruling party, what prompted you to go public pointing finger to your boss (the president) and your colleague (Nhial Deng Nhial). We must unite irrespective of our misgivings about the situation at hand, unless the government loses the confidence and support it badly needed in the face of our current economic challenge.
Inclusiveness of Austerity Measure Committee in doubt
I proposed that the Austerity Measure Committee be expanded to include technocrats, particularly specialists and consultants. We can hire from outside, if we may not find some around. But South Sudan has so many economic products such as Dr. Lual Deng, Dr. David Nailo, Mr. Gabriel Changson among many more, why leaves them behind? What will the likes of Simon Kun Puoch, and Gen. Oyai Deng do in an economic business?
On the same token, the government shouldn’t be selective; we need the three states left out of the composition to form part of the Committee. If it is a must to have states in the Committee, then we need all ten state Governors and their finance ministers to join this important Committee. The Committee at its current status should get to work immediately. Otherwise the decision to keep food (oil) in the ‘gugu’ is perfect. To repeat: no return to Khartoum facilities even if they lower a charge per barrel to a single cent!
On a different note, I have heard, with relief, the postponement of the Conference for the National Liberation Council of the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement (SPLM). I wasn’t sure why would such an important meeting be conducted behind the back of one of the Vice Chairmen of the Party, Dr. Riek Machar Teny, who is currently visiting the United States of America. Someone has plotted, but in all I thank you the organizers for putting off the Conference! We must remain united and together. This is way to go!
Isaiah Abraham lives in Juba; he’s on Isaiah_abraham@yahoo.co.uk