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‘Ruling party manages Sudan through private companies’: economist

October 26 - 2014 NAIROBI (UPDATED 22.00)

A prominent Sudanese economist has reported that the Sudanese government spent at least $65 billion of oil revenues on security measures between 2000 and July 2011, when South Sudan seceded from Sudan. He also outlined how the ruling National Congress Party (NCP) controls all financial and economic fields in Sudan through about 500 companies it owns.

In a paper presented at a consultative meeting recently convened in Nairobi, Kenya, on institutional reform in Sudan, the Sudanese economist Dr Siddig Ombadda stated that more than $65 billion has been spent on the military and security since Sudan began exporting crude oil at the end of 1999, until the secession of South Sudan in July 2011.

He compared the annual expenses on the army and the security apparatus in the period between 2000 and 2011, amounting to more than 60 percent per annum, and the government expenses on education and health which respectively constituted 4.4 percent and 1.6 percent of the total oil revenues.

In his paper, entitled About institutional reform and economic policies leading to stability, Ombadda stated that the ruling National Congress Party (NCP) owns some 500 companies, “by which it controls all financial and economic fields in the country. These companies do not belong to the state, but are private companies, which cannot be checked. The Auditor General does not know anything about these commercial entities.”

Moreover, Ombadda said that voluntary associations belonging to members of the Islamic Movement in Sudan are importing medicines and other commodities from abroad that are exempt from taxes and customs. Large parts of the goods are sold commercially.

Charity organisations

Separately, Hassan Osman Rizig, former deputy secretary of the Islamic Movement, and senior member of the Islamic opposition Reform Now Movement, told reporters that the NCP established voluntary charity organisations, “some of them being real and some other imaginary”, which are funded by public money.

“Also NCP students, youth, and women are financially supported from public funds, even the NCP itself. The Auditor General is not allowed to investigate the accounts.”

File photo: A Sudanese woman shows new bank notes (Sudan Vision)

Related: ‘IMF figures on Sudan inadequate; economy imploding’: analyst (28 September 2014)



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