Expert asks South Sudan to charge Sudan interest on delayed payments

Expert asks South Sudan to charge Sudan interest on delayed payments
Oil pipeline which transports crude oil from South Sudan to Sudan. Photo: Courtesy

The Economic Advisor for Economic Cluster, Abraham Maliet, has advised South Sudan to charge interest on the money the Sudanese government owes the country, arguing that this can be useful in paying some costs of oil shipment. 

“In a financial transaction, if you overpay a client, the payee is obliged to refund. So, whatever the government of Sudan owes the Republic of South Sudan, they have to pay us. Four months is very much, a big amount that can pay some costs. So, it is our right, to get our funds, and the sooner the better,” he advised.

He added that the Juba administration should charge interest if Khartoum delays.

“You remember years ago, we have been paying them, in advance but they continued to take our money even though we have already paid them off,” he explained.

“So, this balance of payment, they have to return it to us because it is ours, and if they keep that money without paying on time, we will charge them interest. So we are not only demanding the payment, by itself, we could even ask for interest if they don’t pay on time.”

On Monday, Minister for Presidential Affairs, Dr Barnaba Marial Benjamin, said that South Sudan was demanding money from Sudan. The arrears had piled up the past four months since the end of TFA. Maliet said this would immensely help in boosting the economy.

He added that the ministries of petroleum of the two sisterly countries would sit down to come up with a new agreement.

The TFA was signed between Sudan and South Sudan when South Sudan seceded from Sudan in 2011 as part of the Agreement on Oil and Related Economic Matters (AOREM).

President Salva Kiir Mayardit on Monday received delegates from Sudan sent by the Chairman of Sudan Transitional Sovereign Council to deliver his message on bilateral relations and Transitional Financial Arrangement (TFA) South Sudan had been paying Sudan for the usage of pipelines to transport crude oil.

The delegates led by the Secretary General of Sudanese Sovereign Council, Mohammed Al-Ghali and the Minister of Energy and Petroleum Engineer Mohamed Abdalla, were reminded of the completion of payment of $3.08 billion to Sudan in March 2022 and Sudan had not paid oil proceeds for the last four months.

“Dr Barnaba Marial Benjamin said the meeting was important because South Sudan has completed the payment of $3.08 billion to Sudan under the Transitional Financial Arrangement (TFA) in March and it is now 4 months since the payment has been completed,” the statement from the office of the president read.