No dollar, you must use SSP: Central Bank tell citizens, businesses

No dollar, you must use SSP: Central Bank tell citizens, businesses
The Dollar continue to gain against SSP. [Courtesy]

The Central Bank has warned the government and private entities against conducting transactions in US dollars.

The bank regulator added that all transactions must be done using the legal tender – the South Sudanese Pound.

According to the statement seen by City Review, the Bank of South Sudan (BoSS) alleged that most transactions in various sectors are illegally done in foreign currencies.

“The Bank of South Sudan has learned that some government and financial institutions, non-governmental organizations, civil society organizations, hotels, travel agencies, commercial outlets, restaurants, service entertainment industries, and private businesses have a practise of executing official and private contracts, rent payments in foreign currency rather than the South Sudanese Pound, which has legal validity as legal tender for commercial transactions,” it stated.

It is on this basis that the bank issued a circular on Wednesday, urging the government, private institutions, non-governmental organisations and citizens to forthwith use the SSP in their transactions as legal tender, and threatening action against those who defy the directive.

The circular was issued in accordance with Section 11 of the Bank of South Sudan Act, 2011, which empowers the bank to issue regulations and circulars to enable it to fulfil its mandate and responsibilities.

The use of foreign currency, according to BOSS, is an “unacceptable practice that has fundamentally undermined and threatens to weaken public confidence in SSP as a legal tender and must be completely discouraged.”

“It is illegal to refuse to deal in the South Sudanese Pound as legal tender in the Republic of South Sudan,” BoSS noted.

It added: “As a matter of fact, the BOSS has reserved measures that will be implemented in accordance with the circular of goods and services prices. All prices for goods and services in the Republic of South Sudan shall be denominated in South Sudanese Pounds.”

According to the circular, “any public budget, financial records, and accounts required by law or established or maintained in South Sudan should be assessed in SSP.”

The BoSS added that the “monies, when required in any indictment or legal proceedings other than for the enforcement of a foreign currency obligation, shall be specified in the SSP.”

“Mandatory payments shall be assessed and required to be paid in SSP,” it noted, adding that “mandatory payment” “means any payment made to or by a public utility under a contract or any other voluntary transaction.”

They include payment of taxes (either direct or indirect), customs duties, excise, levies, fees, charges, or penalties, court charges, or any payment prescribed by law under prevailing legislation.

Signed by the governor of the Central Bank, Johnny Damian Ohisa, the document made it clear that the “circular supersedes any other previous circulars on the same reference subject.”

The orders took effect immediately from the date of issue – 18 January 2023.

The South Sudanese currency has suffered from an upsurge in the strength of the dollar, with the exchange rate now above SSP 690 mark per US dollar.