19 Jun 2018

 

Backlash Over Petroleum Minister’s “Economic Boom” Statement

Citizens have reacted angrily over the Petroleum Minister’s statement claiming that South Sudan economy is booming.

Backlash Over Petroleum Minister’s “Economic Boom” Statement
-Hon. Amb. Ezekiel Lol Gatkuoth, Minister of Petroleum South Sudan [Courtesy|VOA]

By Ojwe Lumara

JUBA, 26 February 2018 [Gurtong]-
Hon. Amb. Ezekiel Lol Gatkuoth in an interview with the British Broadcasting Corporation on February 23, 2018 said that South Sudan’s “economy is booming.”

The statement aroused angry social media discussion amongst South Sudanese.
The South Sudan Civil Society Forum released a statement on Sunday saying it was “surprised” by the minister’s comment.

“The South Sudan Civil Society Forum (SSCSF) is surprised and dismayed by the comments of such a statement grossly amounts to misrepresentation of the dire economic situation in South Sudan.,” the statement said.  “It is also a direct mockery of citizens who are facing deplorable living conditions as a result of the war inflicted economic collapse in the country.”

The civil society argued that economic boom is a period of wide-spread increase in gross domestic product (GDP), economic productivity, sales, income, wages and prosperity. Latest reports of South Sudanese economists and the World Bank indicate that South Sudan’s inflation rate consistently stands at triple digits for the last two years while GDP at annual growth rate is about -13.1 per cent.

“The minimum wage in the country is less than five dollars a month at the current inflation rate, civil servants go for six months without salaries and majority of the country’s population survives on emergency foreign humanitarian assistance,” they said. “These troubling economic indicators are among the worst in the world and cannot make a booming economy.”

According to the civil society, political leaders making public statements on behalf of the country should have in-depth and updated information on the real issues and situation the country faces.

“They should give the suffering citizens of South Sudan some hope and respect,” the civil society said.
 

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