South Sudan financial company tells youth to adopt ‘Saving Culture’

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[Yei, South Sudan] A South Sudanese financial company has called on young people to adopt regular savings of their earnings to enable them to achieve their future goals.
 
“Most of them, they really do not look at tomorrow. They look at today. Whatever they get, they utilize it all,” said Emmanuel Bolo, Branch Manager of Finance South Sudan, a loan giver in Yei. 

“I encourage the youth to have a saving culture. It is important. Because at the end of the day you have been working, but what have you saved?”

Because of the loans given by Finance South Sudan, Bolo explained that many citizens are now benefitting by setting up different businesses or investing in agriculture. Bolo called on the citizens to keep their money in the bank for better security and for regulation of their spending. Referring to the utilization of loans the company gives to the citizens, Bolo decried that most of the young people spend money on luxurious lifestyle.

Finance South Sudan gives loans to South Sudanese citizens for different categories, including agriculture, group development, small businesses and entrepreneurship. To obtain the loan, collateral securities are presented beforehand.


Failing to repay loan


However, Bolo said some of beneficiaries are failing to pay back their loan balances even though the loans were given out to develop them to become self-reliant. Banks also said they experience the same problem with clients neglecting to repay their loans. 

 

In response, Chamber of Commerce in Yei, a body that oversees the work of the business people, has called for its inclusion in the decision making in order to participate in the follow up process. The chamber’s advisor, Mike Wani Enosa, criticized financial institutions for pleading for the chamber’s support in getting their loans repaid after they skipped advice during the early stages. Due to lack of consultation, he said, many financial institutions are now facing the challenge of not having their borrowed loans repaid.  Mr. Wani strong called on financial companies to seek a guaranteed security for their loans through the chamber.

 

While issue of repayment emerged as a challenge, the branch manager Mr. Bolo also lamented that some youth could not access loans due to lack of collateral security, but adds that efforts are on the move to make them aware of the need to have such securities and the need to have productive use of the loans. Bolo who advocates that the loans will help youth create job opportunities stressed that the youth should group themselves and form cooperative societies to access loans..

 

Scarcity of hard currency

 

South Sudanese traders in Yei had long complained about their lack of access to hard currency in the banks to expand their businesses, claiming that mostly foreigners were favored in the process. Mr. Wani of Chamber expresses disappointment over the involvement of investors in the retail businesses, of which the locals could be the
workers, citing some foreign wholesale traders break down bulks to monopolize the local’s retail business.


Provide youth with skills training

 

 

According to the 2008 Sudan housing and population census, youth forms over 70 % of the total population of South Sudan with majority of them without employable skills.

Unemployment among the youth is reported high. The ‘group loan product’ offered by the company targets youths from the age of 18 to 35 years, Mr. Bolo stressed.

During the function, the chairperson of Yei Youth Association, Lagu Benjamin, has called on the state government to support the youth through the opening of vocational training institutions to enable them contribute positively to the reconstruction of the nation.


“The youth need vocational training skills. This will enable them to work for themselves------ We really need to engage the youth and put them in a very fruitful way so that we can see what they can do best,” he stated. 

 

[TCT] 

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