National News

Central Bank governor urged to halt dollar auction

By SasukTaban

The Community Empowerment for Progress Organization (CEPO) has called on the new Central Bank Governor, Dr. OthomAjak to halt the auctioning of hard currency to commercial banks as a way of resolving the economic situation affecting the country.

Speaking to Juba Monitor yesterday, the Executive Director of CEPO, Mr. Edmund Yakani said the new leadership of the Central Bank should take action immediately and avoid auctioning hard currency.

He said that the governor should focus on availing the hard currency to the business community with strict agreement principles such that they take the hard currency and deliver services which would increase supply of goods in the market.

“The question of how do we manage the hard currency, auctioning of the dollar to the hard currency to commercial banks is another disaster that has affected the economy. The idea of keeping dollar as a savior and devaluating the South Sudanese currency was a wrong idea. The strength of our economy all depends on our home grown production,” he said.

Yakani welcomed the President’s decision to relieve the Governor of Central Bank, KornelioKoryom from duty and said that the governor was relieved due to the idea of devaluation of the currency. He added that the idea to devaluate the local currency against the dollar was a ridiculous one that they did not expect because at the end of the day the currency was devaluated against access to service.

He added that change of the Central Bank governor will not help to improve the current economic situation affecting the country if the economic sector is not improved.

“Central Bank should cooperate with the Ministry of Finance instead of auctioning the dollar. They should use the hard currency to buy food items in bulk and open cooperative societies to supply food commodities to the citizens at affordable prices and as well to out-compete traders who sell at higher prices,” Yakani said.

Yakani further said for the economy to improve, the Ministry of Finance and the Central Bank need to coordinate and ensure that the many revenue collection tables atNimuleCheck point are removed. He said that for every single illegal tax being collected has direct impacts on the prices of goods and the citizens are the ones to bear the burden.

He called on the Central Bank governor, Dr. OthomAjak to revive the clearance house at the bank and urged him to coordinate with the Ministry of Finance to ensure that people avoid dealing in cash.

“The governor should revive the clearance house and promote cross exchange cheque transactions between the banks. Once the house is revived, the cross exchange cheques will be taken to the Central Bank which will earn the government revenue,” Yakani said.

He further reiterated that as long as the number of states are increased and there is no peace and stability, the states will remain vulnerable to their economic status because their economic viability depends on peace and stability.

Peter Njoroge, a garage owner at Malakia welcomed the removal ofKornelioKoryom as the Central Bank governor and said that his policy of devaluating the South Sudanese currency against the dollar and auctioning dollars to commercial banks was wrong. He added that the removal of the governor is the right step to revive the economy.

He said that even after auctioning of dollars by the Central Bank to commercial banks, it was hard accessing dollars. He said that under Koryom’s tenure banks always had no dollars yet the black market had a constant supply of the said hard currency which made him to believe that officials at the bank were behind the black market.

Salim Khalid on his part said that replacing the Central Bank governor will not have any significant effect in reviving the economy if new policies are not devised.

“Changing governors is not bad but it will not help so much if new policies are not formulated. The new Central Bank governor should now devise policies that will help to revive the economy and reduce the exchange rate of the South Sudanese currency to the dollar,” he said.

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