South Sudan to begin oil sector audit

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JUBA, South Sudan – South Sudan’s government has directed a full audit into its oil resource management after years of reports of mismanagement of the environment in the oil producing areas.

Caesar Oliha Marko, deputy chairperson for a government oversight committee to oversee implementation of the audit revealed that a U.S.-based firm will audit production and sale of crude since the independence of South Sudan in 2011.

The oversight committee was established in a presidential decree on Feb. 18 this year.

“It is a very serious audit — it is for the first time since 2011,” Marko told reporters in Juba on Monday.

The audit will “ensure the government adopts measures to ensure that loss and wastage of petroleum resources in the course of extraction, processing, transportation and exportation is kept to a bare minimum so that the country derives maximum financial benefits from its exploitation,” Marko said.

Commenting on the humanitarian side of the issue, Marko said, “We have heard about children born with deformities and we are yet to establish real findings to prove it true and if it is true, someone will be held accountable for and that is why someone has to do work to prove it scientific to us.”

“In regard to when the auditing will start, we have already started and that is why we are here we are working out procedures and the real work will start when the audit plan is approved by the government,” Marko said.

The Ministry of Petroleum announced the tender in January of 2020 targeting competent international companies to bid to undertake an environmental audit in the oil producing northern Upper Nile, Unity states and the newly created Ruweng Administrative Area.

By Benjamin Takpiny