The announcement that South Sudan’s crude oil has been sold in advance to pay for salary arrears has come in for criticism.
On Thursday, Finance Minister Agak Achuil said output up until 2027 had been sold in order to pay the salaries of civil servants, who have not been paid since around September 2021.
But a prominent economist has hit at the government, saying it has failed to manage the economy properly.
“If you decide to make your life depend on loans, you consume the future,” said Ahmed Morgan Yanga, a professor of economics at the University of Juba.
He said it was akin to “pronouncing the country economically dead”.
Oil is the backbone of the economy in South Sudan, which is recovering from a brutal civil war that erupted not long after its independence in 2011.
Dr. Yanga said the government should not just rely on oil revenues, recommending it look to minerals and the tourism sector to raise money.
He said corruption was also an issue that needed to be addressed as he suspected vast amounts were being lost to graft.