South Sudan changes currency to force hoarders release cash

By Nation

South Sudan’s Council of Ministers has approved a change of currency in an attempt to find hoarded cash it claims is aiding the economic decline.

Information Minister Michael Makuei told journalists in Juba that the council reached the resolution following proposals from local banks on how to rescue the economy.

“One of the reports was that most of the citizens are hoarding currency in their houses for several reasons. Some fear that if they take their money to the bank, it will be confiscated,” he said.

“The Cabinet has decided that the currency should be changed so that anybody who doesn’t take money to the bank is left out and loses it. Those hoarding money in their houses are advised to take it to the bank.”

The Cabinet also formed a select committee made up of the Cabinet Affairs, Trade and Higher education ministers, Central Bank governor and representatives of commercial banks to study six papers presented by financial institutions highlighting problems affecting the economy.

“The committee is tasked with deliberating on issues contributing to the economic downfall and coming up with one the clear policy aimed at addressing [it]. It is expected to report outcomes in next week’s Cabinet meeting” he Mr Makuei said.

In August, Central Bank’s Second Deputy Governor, Daniel Kech Pouch, said the financial institution had run out of foreign reserves but Governor Jamal Abdallah Wani denied the report.

That same month, the Trade minister said there is nothing the government can do to stop the local currency from losing value.

South Sudan’s economy has been devastated by several factors since its independence in 2011.

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