When will the perennial problem of salary delays be solved?

When will the perennial problem of salary delays be solved?

On Tuesday, the Minister of Finance and Planning, Eng. Awow Daniel, killed the little hopes of the civil servants and organised forces crossing fingers for the payment of their salary arrears. This was when he said that the government has no money to clear the pending salary arrears.

Awow, who addressed the National Assembly, lamented that the country’s revenue sources have increasingly become leaner and leaner making it harder for the government to foot its recurrent expenditure bills such as the payment of salaries.

He said: “The only source of income today is South Sudan National Authority and Nile blend; those are the two sources of income. South Sudan National Revenue Authority has limited capacity, we are only collecting from Nimule and we are collecting from Juba here.”

“What we are getting from the NRA is little and what we are getting from road portion is also very little which means it is going to be very difficult for us to pay the salary arrears but we are trying to build on these resources so that we can pay the salaries,” he added.

But this revelation was contrary to what the governor of the Bank of South Sudan, Dr James Alic, once said just a month ago. Speaking in early April, Alic refuted the notion that the country was broke and maintained that the non-oil revenue streams were reliable and that they could easily pay salaries from the collections if done in a proper way.

But the developments that came from Parliament depicted that we could have two senior government officials speaking different points. This only implies that the civil servants and the organised forces are not only subjected to the longer wait for their dues but also the confusion that results from double speak by the officials.

Thus, the government officials need to learn to speak with one voice and address the salary delays. There are families breaking and children sleeping hungry as a result of this chronic salary delays.