Home | News    Monday 18 October 2010

Sudan’s finance minister paints grim picture of economy after the South separates


October 17, 2010 (KHARTOUM) – The Sudanese minister for finance and national economy Ali Mahmood Abdel-Rasool warned the people of the North that tough austerity measures would have to be undertaken should the South Sudanese vote for independence in the January 2011 referendum.

"We will lose seventy per cent of our share in oil reserves, and fifty per cent of the share in oil revenues. We hope and pray to God that Sudan is not divided, but this is what will happen if [Sudan] breaks up," Abdel-Rasool said in an interview with the London-based Al-Sharq Al-Awsat newspaper.

In 2011 the people of South Sudan will vote in a self determination referendum in order to decide whether they want to remain as part of united Sudan or create their own state. It is widely expected that secession will be the overwhelming choice of Southerners.

About 75 percent of Sudan’s proven reserves of 6.3bn barrels are in the south but the pipeline that carries the oil to export terminals and refineries runs through the north. The south needs Khartoum’s co-operation to sell its oil; the north needs revenues from its neighbour’s resources.

The Sudanese official expressed hope that oil discoveries in the North will help compensate for some of the loss in oil revenue from the South adding that the country has been able to sustain itself before oil was discovered and should be able to do the same if it is gone.

However, he emphasised that other measures need to be taken to weather the impact of the likely secession of South Sudan.

"When Mr. President picked me to be the Minister of Finance, I conducted studies on exports and imports, and found that we import the equivalent of more than $9 billion each year; $1 billion for car [imports], and nearly $2 billion of wheat [imports], $100 million for [cooking] oil, and nearly $100 million for furniture, and the like for fruits, toys, and luxury items," the Sudanese finance minister said.

"In accordance with my new policy, it is imperative that we reduce these amounts through rationalization of import, imposing tariffs and taxes on luxury items. And actually, I issued orders stopping the imports of used cars because, in the long run, it will be a burden on the owners and the Sudanese economy," Abdel-Rasool added.

The recent move to curb imports were meant to preserve the FOREX reserves kept by Sudan’s central bank. The Sudanese pound have recently been sliding against the US dollars and authorities appeared unable to halt its decline through injecting its limited supply of foreign currency.

Abdel-Rasool also urged the Sudanese people in the North to help the government by cutting down spending on luxury items.

"I have spoken to the Sudanese people about the importance of returning to our local products; to corn, millet and to Kisra [Sudanese corn bread] and cooking it [at home]" he said.

The remarks by the Sudanese official marks a departure from those made by his peers which stressed that South Sudan’s secession will have limited impact on the economy of the North.

"It is true that a partition will have consequences but it is not impossible to face up to it," said governor of the Central Bank of Sudan Sabir Mohamed Al-Hassan in a press conference in late September noting that non-petroleum exports have more than doubled over the last year.

"Sudan was able to overcome the global financial crisis and that gave it the ability to prevail over the crisis of the financial secession of the South," Al-Hassan said.


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  • 18 October 2010 05:49, by Grader

    Mr minister-stop war mongering

    This an overt stocking on hatred against South Sudanese

    We’re not going to take away your lifestyles but going with ours

    • 18 October 2010 07:09, by Timdor

      Dear Grader,actually the minister is absolutley right by predicting the fall down of economy in the North if the South break away.

      To me,he is a very honest and truthful man compare to the rest of the NCP guys who only wish southerners wars and internal conflicts,hunger,famine etc if Southerners decide to break away.they are not honest to themsleves like this guy.

      I wish i have energy to vote for unity or make miracles for Sudan to remain united so that the northerners remain living in luxurious life while we live in poverty according to the minister.

      But there are still options ahead of separation of South Sudan for the northerners in the south.These opportunities include washing utnensils,clothes,cleaning,farming etc.Some of your girls can replace ugandans and kenyans who are doing comercial sex in the country since they are brown,they can become more attractive to many young people.I think such opportunities can still boast your economy.As per now,oil business shall be closed and pay only percentage of your piple line.

      Southerners have been living below the povery line in which they don,t even affort one meal of Kisera a day.


      • 18 October 2010 18:38, by padiit gaga

        The harmful Bacteria have already smelled the medicine for their treatment . They are near to be redicated by strong medicine, All Natives of Sudan recogonized who is poison of their land. Dafure has already seen that Arab migrate are they Cassetive bacteria in the land of Africa ( Sudan) that is why the open their Eyes to see like what the southerness have seen long a go.

        Oh God separat us from this Evil Empire, and stay in our blessed land. the land of black (Sudan) which is not for migrate but for Africa.

  • 18 October 2010 05:50, by John Amule de Lokolong

    It seem like the NCP has started to smile their own future ahead of referenda. No Panic you deserve it.

    • 18 October 2010 05:57, by John Amule de Lokolong

      It seem like the NCP has started to smell their own future ahead of referenda. No Panic you deserve it.

      • 18 October 2010 14:06, by Mr Point

        no more imports of bullets, guns, tanks, Antonov planes

        • 18 October 2010 15:51, by Dr.Rum Achoot

          Dear Mr. Point.

          You are so right for the point, because if Arab were not aware that Southerners not full happy to CPA, they will come to know is soon when they atempted to Referendum.

          By Dr. Rumachoot

  • 18 October 2010 06:15, by stephen

    Northners wanted to maintain unity of sudan because of south sudan resources, it is not because they Love the people of south sudan.
    Mr minister enough is enough let the inoncent people of south sudan go, let them atleast enjoy the left-over of the resources of which you and your relatives has been enjoying since 1956 up to now, unity of resources must end up, separation is the only choice because you can’t vote for slavary that is true, we will do that, we will vote for separation

  • 18 October 2010 06:22, by Biliu

    It’s good to know that North is only eager to take away our resources while paying no attention to us the Citizens of the South,, now it’s sooooo obvious, the Unity they are heralding around is a unity with the South resources….South is mere product for them and that’s the way they see it…I would be very disappointed if a single vote went for Sudan’s unity…..Long live South Sudan!

  • 18 October 2010 08:17, by okucu pa lotinokwan

    The whole world should know very well that the force unity the National Criminal Party NCP want with the south Sudanese is only the petrolum plus other natural resources south had, otherwise the sudan have divided since had those resourecs be in the north sudan.
    The statement made by the minister of finance in the national goverment is buyers,any southerners will stand against it,whether its mean what? the south will be soon a new born state within Africa continent.But we will be a very good neighour with the north sudanese and as well Relatives since we have the sons of our sisters with them. No panic Mr minister forget about percentage who are talking of.


  • 18 October 2010 08:19, by DASODIKO

    Hahaha, maggots you wnat South Sudan because of its resources not because of its people. Now its time to drink your swets after South Sudan build dams to breed just fish.

  • 18 October 2010 08:52, by telfajbago

    We are happy to cut these resources from Jallaba that had been misused, not only to fatten bellies of certain individuals and tribes ;but to commit war crimes and genocide with, in South Sudan, Blue Nile, Nuba Mountain, eastern Sudan and more brutally in Darfur; So dear minister stop crying the worst is yet to come, therefore don’t only advice your own folk to resort to cooking Kisra, but teach them to cook stones as well; the conditions you are in now is just a rehearsal the film is coming . I will be glad and smiling from ear to ear, the day I sit down comfortable cross-legged to drink tea at the streets of Khartoum from the Minister’s daughter, the tea-maker.

  • 18 October 2010 11:31, by Padiet Deng Alony

    weaning child from mother milk is too hard. but now is time to wean the paraside arab from our resources.

  • 18 October 2010 11:40, by A.k

    Hahaha the chickens have finally come home to roost.

  • 18 October 2010 11:59, by Akuma

    Surely, Northerners are Parasites of Southern Sudan oil!

    Sudan will face many difficulties and challenges because they had been over exploiting the resources whom they owner will soon overtake it.

    Anyway, there are no parts in Northern Sudan hd been left undeveloped even the latrines/toilets are well develop than Southern Sudan cities.

    Now, it is time for Southern Sudan to own it resources and Northerners who were parasites over South oil will blame themselves.

    You should not get worry about Southern Sudan independent, since independent time, they never had an experience i leadership or some developmental activiteis in their regions. So, it is teh right time for them to look in many ways to be seperate country rather than be dominated by truelssness and hopeless leadership of Ismalization and Arabization of Al-Bashirism.

    Oyee Southern Sudan, whether northerners like it or not, Southern Sudan must got its own country by the early next year.

    Dr. Akuma

  • 18 October 2010 12:34, by Luthern King

    M r. minister for finance.So what /
    you are talking for your self , for your own benefit.Sudan for people who living in regardless of the race. We need southern Sudan of which we will implement justice and equality for people of Sudan and we have dream for it. Look at him he is crying for himself have shame on you Mr. minister. MAY GOD BLESS SOUTHERN SUDAN.

    • 18 October 2010 16:32, by John M. Atem

      The Sudan’s finance Minister is absolutely right by painstakingly pointed out the economic malady the North Sudan will face should the South decide to go the separate way. Mr.Minister you need to blame your brothers in the National Congress Party for failing to make the Peace Attractive.
      If you guys were serious of the unity of Sudan then you should have developed the South.
      Indeed, the National Congress Party has nobody else to blame,but themselves.

    • 18 October 2010 19:51, by John Sebit

      I would like to thanks the financial minister in the Goverment of NCP, you have stated it right that there will be economic down fall in the North if we ( Southern Sudanese) seceded from the north, now you know that you have been building the North leaving where the resource where created, Dr. John Garang before his death stated clear in his speech in Naivasha that we are the creator of wealth but we have no wealth, Mr. Minister time has come for us to widely open our eyes, we were walking with our head down, but now we walk tall.
      We are going to seperate from you, the God you will pray for UNITY of SUDAN will not listen to you becuase you are pathological selfish, instate God will listen to our prayer for SEPERATION. 100 % of the Southerner Sudanese are for seperation & not unity of Sudan, some Northerns Arab at least 20 % are happy with the seperation of the Sudan, therefore mr. Minister with the knowledge you have, try to reseve with care the resources you have in hands.

  • 19 October 2010 11:15, by Garang

    Enough is enough, the north is due for weaning, they should be thankful for the lengthy duration the South had nurtured them with our resources. South sudan succeeding by all means.

  • 19 October 2010 18:36, by Abraham Majur Lam

    Thanks man for having acknowledge the contribution of Southern Sudan revenues to Khartoum. You are the only truthful NCP member who has come out frankly and show the impact of Separation and we are really going and your brothers also should the negative implications. This is the fact no politicing in economy matters.
    By, Abraham M. Laam

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