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South Sudan Sets Aside 5,000bpd of Crude to Double Salaries

By Okech Francis

South Sudan is setting aside 5,000 barrels of its Nile Blend every day to cover government salaries, which it doubled from July as an economic crisis eroded the local currency’s purchasing power.

The local pound had depreciated to such as extent that police officers now earn the equivalent of $5.45 per month. The plan to isolate some crude for the benefit of government workers was initially announced by President Salva Kiir last week.

“This will help us increase the salaries by 100% in the new financial year,” Deputy Minister of Finance Agok Makur Kur said by phone in the capital, Juba.

The crisis stems from a six-year violent conflict that began in 2013 and has left 400,000 people dead and displaced 4 million others. The crude will come from blocks 1, 2 and 4 in Unity State, whose production only resumed in 2018 due to the violence.

The plan brings to 35,000 barrels set aside daily. In 2019, the government said it would isolate 30,000 bpd to finance infrastructure projects. South Sudan currently produces about 154,000 bpd.

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