The one billion USD that never was
By Bullen Bala Alexander
Intrigues, confusion and uncertainty marred the signing of the expected one billion dollar loan that was to be from the Global International for Trade and Development after two days of closed door negotiation.
The loan was to be signed by the Ministry of Agriculture and Food Security in the country with other key players attending the expected final ink for the release of the cash which would have been later channeled to the country’s coffer for management and implementation. No clear reasons were given on the failed inking of the Memorandum of Understanding (MOU).
On Wednesday, a delegation from GITD Headed by the CEO/Vice chairman of GITD Dr. Manal Adballa and Dr. Manal Shaleen a board Member and Executive Director of GITD arrived in Juba to discuss on the one billion loan expected to improve agricultural sector in the country with possibilities of signing the deal.
But the two days discussion ended without signing of any document due to disagreement between the two parts.
According to reliable sources, the agricultural sector through the Ministry of Agriculture and Food Security want one billion loan to be injected directly to the agricultural sector.
Again the Global International for Trade and Development says they only want South Sudan to issue Sovereign guarantee of one billion USD but they will be the one to manage the projects that will be given by the South Sudan government in different agriculture sectors.
In an interview with Juba Monitor, the Minister of Agriculture and Food Security, Josephine Lagu Yanga said the document which was supposed to be signed by the two parts still need recommendation from technical team of the Ministry.
“I will sign what is recommended and approved by my technical team in the ministry, but per now the document is under review by the technical team until they recommend and agree that is when we can sign,” Minister Josephine revealed.
She said one billion US dollar is not a small money saying signing such huge money needs a lot of processes which need to pass through.
“Yes, we have not signed the MOU that we are supposed to sign with Global International for Trade and Development, the reason is that the document needs to be carefully studied by the technical people at the ministry because things to deal with one billion is big money.”
However, she said they have left the discussion to legal advisors and the technical team in the ministry to look into the document, advice and let them come up with recommendation.
Meanwhile Osman Anei, the chairman of South Sudan Farmers Union said the one billion loan expected for agricultural sector from GITD will still be discussed.
“Yes, we have not signed due to some small disagreement but as the team from GITD goes back today, I think they are going to have a lot of consultation then come back with good result but we are still hopeful that the deal will succeed,” Mr. Anei said.
The one billion loan is to boost the idea of making agriculture as the main source of non-oil revenue generation, catering and financing developmental projects of 2020/2021 strategic plans within the agricultural sectors.
The sectors that were to benefit from the 1billion USD are the Ministry of Agriculture and Food Security, South Sudan Business Community and Employers Federation, Agricultural Bank of South Sudan and South Sudan Farmers Union.