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Opinion: Streamlining South Sudan Compensation Process for Ugandan Traders  

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
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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.

Issues to Note

  1. a) No payment can be made without a Guarantee instrument being  issued by  South Sudan.
  2. 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.

 

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