The Vice President, Dr. James Wani Igga has urged South Sudanese to move away from overdependence on oil revenue and over-reliance on foreign aid.
Since 2005, about 98% of South Sudanese income is generated through the sale of oil. Foreign aid in form of donations and humanitarian aid comes from development and UN agencies.
The government has in the past admitted that the fall in oil prices, the economic crisis and the draw-back of funds from development partners has greatly affected payment of civil servants’ salaries and provision of services.
But Dr. Wani Igga said instead of relying on oil which can be depleted at any time, state or national governments should focus on agriculture to ensure they produce local food and be self-sufficient.
He urges the public to also engage in small-scale farming.
“Unfortunately, we in South Sudan at both national and state level, all of us look at the direction of income of oil. This is misleading my friend and it is a commodity; it is a resource that depletes any time,” Dr. Wani said.
Dr. Wani also said that the culture of relying on humanitarian assistance from other countries should be abandoned.
“If we don’t know this we are deceiving ourselves about being independent, independent and you cannot feed yourself, for how long?”
In July, the Agriculture Bank of South Sudan announced that it was seeking over 500 million pounds to support farmers across the country.
The Managing Director of the Bank, Rual Makuei Thiang, said the money is meant to provide inputs and machinery to enable farmers improve their production.