South Sudanese President H.E Salva Kiir executed a presidential role of firing the managing director of the nation’s state oil company.
Bol Ring Mourwel, who was appointed head of Nile Petroleum Corp. in September 2020, was removed with immediate effect, according to a decree broadcast on state television on Thursday. As always, no reasons were given for the decision and no replacement was announced.
South Sudan, which has sub-Saharan Africa’s third-largest oil reserves, in July opened its first oil licensing round for five blocks. The East African nation estimates 90% of its oil and gas reserves are unexplored.
Rumors have it that the oil industry in South Sudan has faced multiple claims of corruption tendencies that has derailed the country’s most valuable source of wealth in the oil markets. In an effort to revamp the oil industry, many international agencies have helped the country to negotiate for effective prices at the international market.
South Sudan’s oil output, its main source of revenue, has dropped because of a civil war and as production from existing wells peaks. It’s currently pumping about 156,000 barrels per day, compared with 350,000 barrels a day about a decade ago.
The head of South Sudan’s Nilepet stepped down after mounting criticism of his work that existed for a long time only to be cut short by Thursdays decree..
Bol Ring Mourwel stepped down on October 14. In a letter to South Sudanese President Salva Kiir, the executive claimed credit for a number of projects, including the provision of two service rigs and the start of HFO exports to northern neighbour Sudan.
In a statement, “I welcome my [relief] the same way I welcomed my appointment as the managing director of Nilepet. Change is normal and should be accepted,” he wrote. “I would like to assure you that I remained loyal to your leadership and ready to work with you any time you want me.”
Following his exit, It was not immediately clear who would replace Bol.
Bol had come under fire from a number of Nilepet workers, who issued an open letter recently.
“Nilepet is sinking”, the letter writers complained, with “ever evolving financial bankruptcy, nepotism, extreme institutional dysfunction, variable maladministration and extensive corruption”. In particular, he has cut the medical allowance for Nilepet workers and delayed the payment of staff salaries.
Bol was appointed in September 2020 to replace Chol Deng Thon Abel. Bol is “a fearless liar … an overdressed bulldozer with no managerial abilities to steer the reform project ahead”, the letter of complaint said.
The managing director has appointed his relatives to positions at the company and distributed cash unduly, the letter alleged. Should President Kiir not take action to remove Bol, Nilepet was in danger of collapse, they said.
The letter went on to name a number of Nilepet employees close to Bol, including the senior cashier, Ring Charles Mayen. A number of news reports have named the latter as enjoying Nilepet’s largesse.
A media house, in August, quoted an unnamed source as saying Ring Charles received $20,000 per month from Nilepet.
The South Sudan Anti Corruption Forum (SSACF) called for Kiir to remove Bol in February for “rampant corrupt practices”. The group also expressed concerns on Ring Charles.
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