By Micheal Kango
Considering the confusion that is brewing in this process of handling the compensations to the Ugandan traders who lost businesses and property when war broke out in South Sudan. There is need to streamline the process of compensation and to communicate properly and adequately to stop the brewing confusion.
The Uganda Government with guidance from President Museveni adopted a process where the Ugandan government compensates the Traders on behalf of South Sudan Government .Then the Government of South Sudan would repay the Ugandan government when the situation settles down and the country gets back to operate normally.
The president is quoted to have confirmed that Uganda lost about $500 million US dollars in South Sudan but he believes South Sudan provides a big potential for trade . It’s a Country with great potential of generating a lot of wealth if the political Questions can be settled.
South Sudan has a potential of producing and selling about one million barrels of Nile blend Crude oil per day!! At a cost of US $50 per a barrel of Nile blend ,(this is one of the expensive brand type of Crude oil on the world market) that would translate into US$ 50 million a day!!
In month Income coming to the Country is estimated to be US$750 million dollars. The total loss of Ugandan traders is much less than what South Sudan can earn from its Crude oil month exports.
With such potential, Uganda rightly took the decision to support it’s traders like what Kenya also did . But most importantly South Sudan has the capacity to repay Uganda Government and to clear the claims as the settles down.
How should the process of paying the traders be simplified to stop all this hide and seek recently exhibited in the press!!
- Uganda Government collects all the claimants’ details and sends them to South Sudan.
- South Sudan Verifies and approves the claims One by One and not as group.
- Whatever company or companies are approved by South Sudan A guarantee is is prepared and sent to Uganda
- On receipt of Guarantee , Uganda government credits it’s Account opened in the Central Bank and
the Guarantee Instrument is deposited there.
- When the guarantee is deposited in the Central Bank of Uganda the claimant/s are paid immediately in full.
- a) No payment can be made without a Guarantee instrument being issued by South Sudan.
- b) Uganda government, Parliament ,Uganda revenue authority,Kacita or Ernst and young etc have limited capacity to verify claims for Traders that are owed by the other sovereign St Understanding this will help to clear the confusion being created . The traders now think because they have been put on these lists, they should be paid. Which is not the case.
Its only South Sudan that has a final word on who is verified or not. Unless if Uganda decides to do charity and pay without instructions from its counterpart!!
When this process is streamlined and understood, we wont have people running and making Noise in wrong places for payment.