Customs revenue drops by nearly 50%
Brig. General Akol Ayii, acting director general for customs service
By Jale Richard
South Sudan’snon-oil revenue, the second largest revenue source has dropped drastically since 2013, acting Director General,customs service said yesterday.
Brig. Gen.Akol Ayii Madut said the decrease in revenue collection is due to the insecurity in the country that has forced the closure of six customs stations in the country.
“Our main collection has dropped drastically from December 2013. Our usual customs service collection was excellent.It used to go even up to 400 Million SSP,” Akol said.
He said since December 2013, things have changed for customs service since it collects barely half of the 400 million SSP a month before the crisis broke out.
Akol said in 2014, revenue collection had picked up to SSP 280 million a month, untill July 2016 fighting and as well increased attacks on Juba-Nimule highway has dragged the revenue back to about SSP 100 million only in a month.
He added that in November 2016,revenue collection was ranging from SSP 100 Million to 150 million SSP, and in December it raised to SSP 178 Million in all the 14 Customs service stations in the country including Juba International Airport.
Akol revealled that six customs stations including Kaya, Yambio, Jale, and three others have been shut down since the conflict broke out three years ago. “There are like five to six stations which had been closed due to insecurity and random attacks on the roads,” he said.
Akol said he hopes for peace to return in those areas to allow re-opening of the customs stations to increase revenue collections. “No any condition is permanent, our country is in turmoil but let us pray to God so that 2017 will be a year of peace,”he said.
“The only station that brings a lot of money is Nimule followed by Juba International Airport.These are the stations that bring revenues to the national ministry of Finance and Economic Planning,”he added.
Despite the reduction in customs revenue by about 50% since 2013, the director revealed that customs service has now surpassed the revenue government gets from the sale of oil.
According to him, the only solution to improve the customs service again is to improve the security situation in the country. Otherwise if this insecurity continues, according to Akol the country shall be in a serious economic situation.