Odongo Odoyo

Topical Commentary

With Odongo Odoyo

I was debating on the stand-off between the MPs and the Finance Minister which came to an end two days ago when reasons superseded selfness. I have been of the strong opinion that the parties need one another to move the country forward. God, although the legislators had a good cause to fight for the right of civil servants who have gone for six months without pay, at least they come to realize that without reading and passing the budget, the country could not move forward and meet the needed obligations on time. I am however, impressed with a clause in the budget speech by Minister Salvatore Garang Mabiordit which says and l quote “Rt. Hon Speaker Sir, Hon Members, the Fiscal Year 2019/2020 Draft National Budget has been prepared under the theme “Consolidating Peace and Continuing the Necessary Reforms to Stabilize our Economy”

“Rt. Hon Speaker Sir, Hon Members, we are beginning to see a rebound in our Gross Domestic Products (GDP) and according to the IMF, we may reach GDP growth level of about 3.4 percent by the end of 2019. We anticipate a rise in oil production, with additional oil fields coming on line.” There are three things to note in the quotes. One, the theme of the budget, two, the GDP growth and three, increased oil production. To my understanding, the three components hold the future development of the country and should be prioritized for economic growth. Local financial experts and economists understand better where the GDP is today, but instead of working hand in hand or collaborating with the financial sector in beaming-up the growth to be understood by the common-man, a lot of blame games have been doing the round until now the Bretton hood brothers came up with their reports to give hope and indicate positive future growth in the sector. IMF like the brother World Bank are known sometime to articulate their preferred agenda. In their full reports, they have not spared some sections which they perceive to be hindering the growth. But all these could be done collectively if and only if local experts stopped shouting and start working on the economic development agenda for and on behalf of the country. Time and again the leadership has come out to impact on the growth of the non-oil sector. Few if any are going the agriculture way. Few indeed have taken the horticulture way and still few have taken to dairy farming. With the IMF giving hope in their reports, real action is needed to meet the expected and projected percentage of the growth. What is needed now is for the local experts to confirm if what IMF projected could be achieved within the period mentioned. It should be real because the country wants to act on real issues with peace being experienced in almost all parts of the country. The stand-off is behind us and the work must continue.

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