28 Nov 2020

 

IMF Firs Rapid Credit Facility To South! On What Conditions?

"Public Financial Management Oversight Committee (PFMOC), which is currently being co-chaired by the Minister of Finance and representatives of Troika countries and above all memberships of all relevant stakeholders including civil society organizations to ensure proper utilization of the RCF fund."

*Just A Friendly Message On Use Of USD 52.3 Million Rapid Credit Facility (RCF) For South Sudan.

By Beny Gideon Mabor

As many of you have seen the trending news about the loan approved to South Sudan, the Board of Directors of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) has unanimously approved a Rapid Credit Facility (RCF) to the tune of USD 52.3 million on 11 November 2020.

The Government of South Sudan has been securing loans from different public and private financial institutions all along, but the transparency and accountability of such loans or tangible projects had always been a mist. Worse still, no one was ever held accountable.

However, this is the first time the Government of South Sudan secured money from the IMF. What is disturbing South Sudanese citizens is whether the business shall continue as usual? Of course, the public outcry is that it should be otherwise.

In particular, the RCF is earmarked to address the following situations:
1. Addresses the urgent balance of payment needs by the Government of South Sudan;
2. Contains the fiscal impact of the economic shock and provide critical fiscal space to maintain poverty-reduction and growth-enhancing spending.

After fulfilment of rigid conditions one after another since April 2020, the RCF was finally approved leading to be the first time South Sudan got RCF from IMF since joining in 2012.

Congratulations to the team at the Ministry of Finance, Bank of South Sudan and technical backstopping from academic and research institutions.

What does this RCF mean for South Sudanese Government and the people, considering the pervasive history of poor public financial management (PFM)?

South Sudanese economist and member of Parliament, the Hon Dr. Lual A. Deng, said "this credit from the IMF is essentially a health certificate that would enable the country to attract not only concessional loans, but foreign direct investment (FDI) inflows".

If this is the case as the projection is in affirmative, then the Revitalized Transitional Government of National Unity (RTGoNU), through implementing Agency- the Minister for Finance and Planning, must by all standards do the needful to reject usual fraudulent applications and claims of middlemen and women of highest connections or influence.

Finally, the loan was granted after careful perusal and consideration of political will by the Government to reform public financial management and accountability practices and standards.

I therefore applaud the Government for the formation of Public Financial Management Oversight Committee (PFMOC), which is currently being co-chaired by the Minister of Finance and representatives of Troika countries and above all memberships of all relevant stakeholders including civil society organizations to ensure proper utilization of the RCF fund.

Beny Gideon Mabor, Esq

*This's personal note and doesn't represent the position of any entity.
 

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