By Justin Maker
November 12, 2011 (SSNA) — Development Challenges facing South Sudan are too many in all aspects of life just to say the least. The government is trying its best to do much with the little unsustainable crude oil revenue which every development project rely upon. Oil money represent about 98% of the total budget and 2% of the total budget comes from taxation and other means.
Let’s take a moment for a second to examine the area education and principally primary education and how is funded. Education is the paramount development of any nation as its involved human capital. Human capital investment in education is the mother of all developments being healthcare, constructions, technology, and etc.
To keep the record straight, South Sudan has the lowest access rate to primary education in the world after Afghanistan. South Sudan lacks the data source for its educational resources, only 9% percent of girls attend school and less than five percent complete high school. Many teachers are not trained. Most schools are without proper buildings, classes meet under trees, most classes have no seating, no latrines, and majority have no safe drinking water.
As important as education to the future of the Republic of South Sudan, the government shall not rely on oil money as the only option of funding primary education. Education is not a privilege to any nation but a human right. South Sudan children have the right to get education regardless of sources of funding. It is our national interest to provide this basic need to our children and our country. Talking is done and work and accountability must begin, luxury cars and homes are not investment at this moment.
Reliance on oil revenue for education must stop and let the government examine other options to provide revenue for education and secure the future of our children. Methods of providing revenues to this important topic must be place on the table. National government, Local, and State authorities shall provide revenue to schools districts. Using three ways methodology, federal or national government, local “predominately tax revenue”, State “basic aide and other specific warrantee funding”.
As I stated above that the government shall not rely on oil money to fund education. The national government shall exercise its options including generating revenues from taxing “SINS” Alcohol And Tobacco. Alcohol and tobacco use is the largest risk of oral cancer and imposes a significant burden at our national services. Alcohol and tobacco use is already high in our country and therefore it makes sense to generate revenues from its source. A mandatory tax on alcohol and tobacco manufacturing, licensing, and sales will generate enough and guarantee revenues for education. In fact, this option if implemented has more potential to grow faster than inflation. No alcohol and tobacco license shall be granted to business owner unless all national, local and State obligation are on good standing or paid.
Co-operations and businesses who violets these provisions must be penalized. It is time for co-operations and businesses to pay their share.
Local Revenues: be generated from multiple sources “school district tax to local business operators and property tax”. We must own our destiny
State Revenues”; depending on the state for example border state can generate school district revenues from entrance and exit visas, and states that produces oil attached an exercise tax to oil companies and etc.
We need smaller and smarter government that is creative in services delivery as well as performance. Why do most officials have drivers? Why does every government office need a messenger? Any way that a different topic which need to be address on another article.
The author is a businessman in Columbus, Ohio, President and CEO of Machol, LLC & Amor, Inc. He can be reach via @ [email protected]