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Parliament adjourns discussing S. Sudan-Ethiopia road financing deal

Author: Obaj Okuj | Published: Wednesday, June 19, 2024

Lawmakers at the National Parliament. (Photo: Lou Nelson/Eye Radio).

The National Legislative Assembly has today postponed for a second time, a sitting to discuss the $ 738 million South Sudan- Ethiopia road financing agreement due to a busy schedule of the Finance and Economic Planning Minister.

The agreement, presented on May 29 by Justice Ruben Madol Arol, Minister of Justice and Constitutional Affairs, was previously approved by the Council of Ministers.

The cabinet seeks approval from the National Legislative Assembly’s of the loan  to build roads linking the two countries.

Under the five-year agreement, South Sudan will repay the loan using crude oil, with repayments depending on the oil price in the Arab Gulf at the time of delivery.

The loan carries an annual interest rate of 4%.

The financing agreement requires approval from both South Sudan’s parliament and the House of Peoples’ Representatives of the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia.

The highway, intended to connect western Ethiopia with northeastern South Sudan, necessitates the legislative consent from both nations to proceed.

The road on South Sudan side will connect Paloch, Guelguk, Mathiang-Maiwut, and Pagak to Ethiopia’s border areas.

The agreement was signed by Eyob Tekalign, State Minister of Finance of the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia, and South Sudan’s former Minister of Finance and Planning, Dier Tong Ngor.

Today’s parliamentary sitting to deliberate the loan was adjourned due to the absence of the current Minister of Finance and Planning, Awow Daniel.

According to the Deputy Speaker for Administration and Finance, Parmena Awerial Aluong, the Minister of Finance was called away shortly before the sitting commenced.

“ Because of the importance of this agenda, we will not proceed with the Minister of Finance because the Minister has been called while he was with us here in the Assembly. So, for now we adjourned our sitting for today,“ announced Awerial to the August House.

This marks the second time that the debate on the agreement has been postponed due to the absence of the Minister of Finance and Planning.

Last month, the parliament resolved that discussions on the financing agreement between South Sudan and Ethiopia require the presence of the relevant minister

 

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