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Businessman Lukak decries govt failure to pay Dura Saga traders

Author: Emmanuel J. Akile | Published: Tuesday, February 27, 2024

Businessman Ladu Lukak speaks to reporters. (Photo: The City Review)

The chairperson of South Sudan Chamber of Commerce and Industry said the alleged government failure to pay contracted local traders has marginalized the businessmen in the country.

Ladu Lukak said many national traders have previously supplied the government with food, cars and fuel but they are yet to receive their money.

According to Lukak, the non-payment of traders has hindered their financial progress and paralyzed their businesses.

Lukak, a millionaire businessman himself, said the government should honor its agreement and pay national contractors.

“For this country to move on well, investors are the ones who can help make it happen, but South Sudanese traders are being marginalized,” he said during the 2nd edition of Juba Economic Forum on Monday.

“Since the formation of the government of Southern Sudan, they brought something called Dura [saga], up to now the money for Dura is not paid.”

He cited the Dura Saga, where the Ministry of Finance contracted worth of billions of dollars to allegedly fake companies to deliver the grain to the ten states in 2012, in response to a dire hunger created by the Heglig War with neighboring Sudan.

The grain, locally known as Dura, was supposed to be sold to the hungry population at a low price and the money remitted to the ministry of finance.

However, many individuals secured the contracts with fake papers, claiming to be companies and ended up getting away with hundreds of millions of dollars without any grain delivered to the states.

In May 2013, South Sudan Minister of Justice warned that the contracted Dura Saga companies who misused billions of Sudanese pounds will face justice, while adding that those that were in the clear will be paid.

“There are those [South Sudanese traders] who supplied the army, police, they supplied cars, food, and fuel, but when the time for payment from the finance, they did not pay, up to date they have not been paid.”

“You tight the hands of South Sudanese traders, and yet you say South Sudanese traders allowed foreign investors to take control of the market, how can’t this not happen?”

“We don’t have money, foreigners have the right, they are being financed from outside, and here you say we don’t have the capacity, but you tight our hands, don’t pay our money, who should support the South Sudanese traders, it is the government.”

Ladu Lukak, however, did not mention the amount the government owes the national traders.

 

 

 

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