Breaking

Uganda, South Sudan Border Traders Demand Banking Services

The business community at Bibia, the custom point at the Uganda and Southern Sudan border are demanding that government should quickly help to establish a permanent commercial bank in the area to help promote trade. The nearest commercial banks are in Gulu town, about 150 kilometres away.

Audio 2

Trdaers in Bibia, the custom point at the Uganda and Southern Sudan border want government to establish a permanent commercial bank in the area to help promote trade. The nearest commercial banks are located in Gulu town, about 150 kilometres away.

 

The traders say the absence of a permanent commercial at the busy custom point is hindering the development of businesses and also imposing them to risks.

 

Bibia, located in Atiak Sub County, Amuru district, about 12 kilometres to the border of Uganda and the new nation of South Sudan along the bumpy murram Gulu – Nimule road, hosts the Uganda Revenue Authority custom point and is a fast growing trade area that the authority says will soon be elevated to a town board.

 

The area boasts of several businesses comprising several foreign currency dealers, hotels, lodges, bars, retail shops, a beer and soft drinks depot, and several other petty businesses that generate sums of money for the proprietors. However, despite all the commercial transactions, which generate large sums of money, the area lacks a commercial bank to facilitate the trade.

 

Charles Tabu, the chairman of Bibia of the business community in Bibia, explains that robbers have taken advantage of the absence of a commercial bank to regularly rob traders of their daily transaction proceeds. He said that although Centenary Rural Development Bank recently introduced Mobile banking, the system is yet ineffective.

 

Through the mobile banking system, a truck that is fitted with banking facilities travels to transact banking services at Bibia trading centre for three hours every Monday. But Tabu says this too is not helping. He maintains that they require a permanent bank stationed at the border post if their safety is to be guaranteed.

 

Michael Olok, the LC1 chairman of Bibia East confirms Tabu’s fears. He says that recently, two traders who were involved in foreign exchange were murdered by armed men who robbed them of millions of shillings. Olok blamed government for ignoring their plight despite their contributions to the economy.

 

//Cue in: “PeWaNgeo…”

Cue out: “…of millions of shillings.”//

 

Olok also appealed to the police for more deployment at the Police outpost established at the border post. He said armed men often enter the area with guns from South Sudan and the neighboring district of Adjumani.

 

Jacinto Ovuru, the Amuru District Police Commander has said they will review their strength and deploy more police officers. He also advised the area residents to always alert the police whenever they suspect criminals in the area.

 

Keywords