Government begs traders to re-open shops, resume businesses

Information Minister Michael Makuei

October 15, 2020 (Thessherald)–The Council of Ministers has issued a statement, urging the business people to re-open their shops closed following a sharp depreciation of the South Sudanese pound against the US dollar witnessed in the last two days.

Speaking to reporters in Juba on Wednesday, Information Minister Michael Makuei said the Cabinet had called on the business community to return to their business activities as the government lays out strategies to normalize the economy.

“After thorough deliberations, the cabinet decided to appeal to those business people and those traders who have closed their shops, to open them to the public,” Michael Makuei said. “All those who have closed their shops are in a way adding more to what is already there. And as a result, all the traders are expected to open up their shops and keep on selling to the customers. This is an appeal to them,” said Michael Makuei, Information Minister Makuei and government spokesperson.

Makuei noted that the remarks he made last week almost sparked a public uproar and caused a terrible dilemma.

“This was of course announced last week and after that announcement, the market almost went into a rampage. In my statement here (last Friday) I directed and requested those who are hoarding money to take it to the banks beforehand,” Makuei said.

“This automatically to others meant that the government must be having a malicious plan and it might decide to borrow out their money or as such it might decide to question those who will be depositing heavily. And as a result, those who hoarded the money decided to go to the market and buy the dollar at any rate. And as such, the dollar jumped that high and as of today (Wednesday) it is 75 SSP to US$ 1,” he noted.

The government official, Makuei blames the traders and warns them against rushing to exchange the US dollar at unofficial rates.

“My last message is to assure all the traders and business people that their businesses will not be affected in a way or the other. You are only destroying your businesses by buying dollars at that very high rate. Why don’t you wait for that time when the government will avail you of the necessary dollars at an affordable rate so that you can buy and make use of your money?” Makuei asked.

He urged the traders not to take advantage of fluctuating exchange rates as a tool to exploit their customers.

“The hose who are hoarding the money and those who are selling in their shops. Those who are selling in their shops, as soon as the dollar increases by one pound, add a pound to the price of their goods and at the end of the day it is the consumer who becomes a victim.”

Information Minister Makuei added that “This is the advice that we are giving to those who are trying to inflate and destroy the market. Our advice to the business people is not to keep increasing the prices of your goods because the dollar has gone up. This is not healthy and as such we also appeal to them to keep to their prices because at the end of the day you will be making a wrongful gain.”

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