An open letter to Maj. Gen. Rin Tueny Mabor: The governor of Eastern Lakes state

From: Bullen Bol Mathieng A. Kuc

I would like to congratulate his Excellency the President for his wise decision of recognizing Eastern lakes state to be a state and for appointing you as our governor, creating 28 states will definitely takes towns to people than people to towns where they end up in slums.

Since we are under the full devolution system of administration decentralization, a state is expected to be independent economically in a sense that, it has to plan how to collect its revenue and fund its development aspects of its government with exception of exploration of oil and minerals.

Since your challenge as well as of other governors is huge, a challenge where you are going to start a state government from scratch, I deem it necessary to say something since I also hail from that state as well.

Because states are not expected to depend so much on the central government transfers or grants as per full devolution terms, the followings avenues can be explored to gather enough revenue for our beloved state:

Physical Infrastructure. Shambe road, the most productive road after Juba and Rumbek roads, should be cleared and repaired. With shambe road repaired, the road would boost trade between Eastern lakes state and her neighboring states.

Normally when trade booms, tax revenue also increases. Besides repairing the road to ease the transportation of goods and services within the state and beyond, Shambe Port can also raise additional revenue as all incoming and outgoing goods are taxed.

Investing In Fishing. If your state government invest in fishing especially at Shambe coupled with repaired Shambe road suggested above that connects to Juba city through Shambe-Yirol-Juba road, an enormous amount of money could be generated as long as strong system is established. Small scale fishing can also be carried out along river Yirol, and other rivers at Yirol East to generate extra revenue.

Inter Counties’ Feeder Roads. Roads that links payam to payam, county to county, Boma Boma are advisable to be fixed. Having connected roads boost trade with in the state thereby increasing tax revenue for state government through booming trade, and with money changing hands over period of time, a real development can be seen in villages leave as well as in counties , payams and state capital.

Investing In Agriculture: Yirol has vast fertile land for agriculture. Because your state has not yet got businessmen who could cultivate vast land of agriculture on large scale bases, it should be the state government that should first invest in large scale farming and then privatized them to private sector in future.

When talking of large scale farming, our focus should be on simsim, groundnuts, rice and Dura. once simsim and groundnuts are harvested on large quantities, and instead of selling them within South Sudan as unfinished good, oil factory at Babur-dhet can be revived to turn the unfinished good (Simsim and ground nuts into cooking oil that can be sold freely with in South Sudan and neighboring countries, while doing so, a large number of state population would be employed while the government generates its much needed revenue from the above investment.

Wrestling. Although wrestling has been used as source of entertainment in the state at zero cost, this time, our wrestlers can both entertain us and generate a revenue.

Having read the above suggestions that relates to how your state could generate revenue, the question is where your government shall get initial capital for starting the above ventures?

The answer is: Bulls’ Collection from the Chiefs. Bulls should be collected from the chiefs as it used to be done during war’s time, after collecting them, they should be sold to raise initial capital.

Modification Of Taxes: taxes from animals’ auctioning, personal income taxes, sales taxes, among other taxes should be closely looked at, revenue from fines, licenses, land sales, number plates, etc. should strictly be regulated to generate a revenue that can augment government transfers.

Contribution from the sons and daughters of Yirol who are working in Juba and other states of South Sudan. This can easily be achieved through monthly fundraising meetings where the working classes can voluntarily attend and contribute to the development of their state financially.

Talking of contribution, your government can also pay a visit to diaspora where sons and daughters of the states are residing. I believe, the team cannot return without something there. If the contribution from Son and daughters of Yirol within South Sudan and diaspora continue at least for a year, a significant amount of money can be generated necessary for financing the above development projects.

Seeking giant investors that a state can partner with. Your state can lure investors from within the region and overseas to come and invest in Agriculture, health, roads, education and among others. This is achievable goal if your government starts to have some trips to the countries where possible investors can be obtained.

Luring NGOs to open their branches in Eastern lakes states. The NGOS which are now headquartered in the Rumbek the capital of the former Lakes state , should equally be divided among the new states, besides those that can be divided equally, your state can also seek more NGOS through NGOs forum.

With NGOs in the in the new states, the youth in the state can easily be employed, that can increased personal income tax (PIT) tax. With reasonable number of youth employed, their earnings can automatically contribute to the state development.

To ensure that the above measures succeed , your government should formulate stringent modalities to fight corruption, Nepotism, and tribalism so that, every one pound raised is well spend for the intended purpose, and right people are employed basing on who knows what than who knows who.

The write is a citizen of Eastern lakes states and can be reached at: bullenbolm@gmail.com or via phone: 0955744930/092709977

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