South Sudan's petroleum minister Ezekiel Gatkuoth welcomes potential investors during the second Africa Oil and Power conference in Juba (AP)
South Sudan's petroleum minister Ezekiel Gatkuoth welcomes potential investors during the second Africa Oil and Power conference in Juba (AP)

By Deng Gatpan Wan

Hon. Amb. Ezekiel Lol Gatkuoth, the current minister of petroleum, is a hard working and caring South Sudanese  Politician. He had played important political roles in the liberation struggle, especially when he was a representative of SPLM to United States. He also served as a head of Mission to USA.During his tenure in office as a head of mission, he established strong bilateral relations between the Republic of South Sudan and the United States of America.

Amb. Ezekiel Lol was appointed by President Salva Kiir in August 2016 as a minister of petroleum. His appointment rescued the ministry of petroleum from collapsing. At the time of his appointment, South Sudan was producing only 110,000 barrels per day which was not enough to pay the salaries of civil servants leave alone other government expenses. Ezekiel Lol immediately ordered the oil drilling companies at Paloch oil fields to boost the production from 110,000 bpd to 130,000 bpd which was still not enough.He called all the oil companies and ordered them to quickly repair the oil facilities at Tharjath and Toma South in less than one year. Unfortunately the Chinese oil companies told him that the rehabilitation of oil facilities would take two and a half years.

Ezekiel rejected the duration of 2 years. He and his technician team at the ministry left for Sudan and talked to the Sudanese oil companies about their plan to resume oil production at former Unity State.The Sudanese oil companies agreed to go and repair the oil facilities in one and half month.The rehabilitation work at Tharjath and Toma South took one and a half months and the production immediately resumed.

South Sudan is currently producing 180,000 barrels per day and Hon Amb Ezekiel Lol is planning to double the volume of production by May. He is planning to double the production from 180,000 bpd to 360,000 bpd in this coming month so that the rate of dollars may decline from the current rate of 27,000 SSP to the pre conflict rate of 290 SSP. He is the first oil minister to implement the policy of oil for social services through community development funds. He has completely eradicated environmental pollution in oil producing areas. He has provided clean drinking to the citizens in oil producing areas and also in Juba. The former suffering citizens around the oil fields are now enjoying the fruit of having a caring leader in the person of Ezekiel Lol Gatkuoth. The local communities in oil areas are having no differences with those who are living in paradise in terms of living standards.

Lol is a leader of the people, for the people and by the people.This can be seen through his endless struggle towards eradicating poverty, joblessness, corruption, inequality and tribalism. He believes in good welfare of the citizens. He is a humble kind hearted leader who always socialize with people freely. He moves alone without any single bodyguard because all the South Sudanese love him. Therefore, it is a blessing from Almighty God to have such a visionary leader in South Sudan

Dear readers, it is advisable to acknowledge the achievements of a hard working leader when he is still alive then praising him after he had died. We the South Sudanese should abandon the culture of praising a good human being after he had died. We should thank the hard working person in his presence.

The author is a Senior Economic Analyst. He can be reached via Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

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