Puntland Finance Minister accused the Somali government of politicizing aid. In a recent development, Mohamed Abdirahman Dhabancad blamed the central Somali government for obstructing the distribution of international grants and projects, impeding the region’s overall progress.
Garowe, Puntland, SOMALIA. By Dalmar:
Mr Dhabancad pointed out that the federal government’s actions are detrimental to the nation’s growth, as foreign aid meant for development is being wielded 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 are channelled 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.
He urged direct disbursement from international banks to Puntland, citing obstacles when funds pass through Mogadishu. Puntland Minister accused the Somali government of mismanagement and identified issues such as delayed fund releases or allocation to unidentified entities. He further stressed the need to address these challenges.
Puntland-FGS strife goes beyond finances
The strained relationship between the Puntland government and the FGS extends beyond financial matters. Puntland authorities have repeatedly accused the federal government of attempting to destabilize the region and misuse foreign donor funds for political gain.
In early May 2023, President Hassan Sheikh Mohamud expressed scepticism about Puntland’s electoral process, warning of potential instability within the region. Despite the President’s reservations, Puntland moved forward with its “one person, one vote” election, highlighting the ongoing tension between the federal and regional governments.
Inauguration of the Economic Development Council
On Tuesday, the President of Puntland, Said Abdullahi Deni, presided over a meeting centred on advancing Puntland’s economic landscape. The gathering at the Ministry of Planning headquarters brought together several cabinet ministers and presidential advisors, marking the formal establishment of the Puntland Economic Development Council (PEDC).
This strategic initiative will enhance the government’s commitment to its constituents, particularly in the effective management of international grants and initiatives. The PEDC will be pivotal in nurturing economic progress, assuring seamless coordination of global contributions, and enhancing investments within the Puntland region.