The Ministry of Petroleum and Mineral Resources welcomes the UK’s Serious Fraud Office (SFO) decision to close their investigation on Soma Oil & Gas Exploration Limited (SOMA). The allegation was that payments made by Soma to the Somali government were used to bribe officials.
The accusation of corruption by the SFO against SOMA Oil and Gas has drawn more attention to this issue. Positively for the Ministry of Petroleum and Mineral Resources of the Federal Public of Somalia the investigation concluded that there was no evidence of corruption.
This finding is consistent with that of an independent Somali committee appointed by the Prime Minister of the Federal Government of Somalia in 2015. The Committee also found no evidence that the capacity building agreement with SOMA was reached on ‘quid pro quo’ basis.
Somalia is now developing its oil industry. The Federal Government of Somalia is determined to develop sound government policies, institutions and infrastructure. We are aware that the oil industry cannot develop without having in place strict compliance programs and policies that effectively address corruption issues.
This kind of scrutiny only helps and enables us to be at our optimal best. We shall continue to work to improve not only standards, but life in Somalia. We welcome this decision.