An economic meeting has been launched in Mogadishu, with Puntland not invited. Somalia’s Finance Ministry has launched the pivotal conference involving representatives from the Federal Government of Somalia (FGS), Banadir Regional Administration (BRA) and Federal Member States (FMS).
Mogadishu, SOMALIA. By Dalmar:
The two-day meeting on intergovernmental fiscal federalism commenced yesterday in Mogadishu, and its agenda spans diverse topics. Among these are the tax unification law, financial reform, and the fulfilment of debt relief prerequisites. The participants also plan to discuss development projects supported by foreign donors and other financial grants.
The Minister of Finance, Mr Bihi Iman Egeh, and his colleague Mrs Raho Mohamud Janaqow, the State Minister of Finance, delivered the conference’s opening remarks. Notably, Puntland representatives were absent from the guest list.
Puntland not invited
Concerningly, the Ministry of Finance of the Puntland government, an entity pivotal for Somalia’s debt relief process, received no invitation. This omission, critics argue, reflects the central government’s persistent neglect of varying perspectives and ignorance of Somalia’s (federal) governing system.
Observers emphasize that inclusivity is paramount. All member states, not just those reliant on the FGS, should engage in such matters. Strangely, the Finance Minister tweeted, “Reforming together is key for completing the debt relief process,” which Puntland is indeed an essential part of.
Puntland’s recent criticism of the FGS
The reason for the absence of Puntland’s invitation might be Puntland’s recent criticism of the FGS. Last week, Puntland’s Finance Minister, Mohamed Abdirahman Dhabancad, accused the Somali government of politicizing aid. Mr Dhabancad blamed the central Somali government for obstructing the distribution of international grants and projects. According to him, the obstruction is impeding the region’s overall progress.
Mr Dhabancad pointed out that the federal government’s actions are detrimental to the nation’s growth, as the government wields foreign aid as a political tool. This particularly impacts Puntland, as it jeopardizes the quota assigned to the region to benefit its local populace.
The Puntland Minister emphasized the importance of direct benefits to the people through project contracts, ensuring that revenue and taxes from these initiatives channel back into Puntland. He underlined the advancements made by the financial system and the Central Bank of Puntland, highlighting their readiness to manage international aid and grants efficiently.