Federalism-bashing Finance Minister of Somalia

A couple of years ago Dr Abdirahman Duale Beileh , the Finance Minister of the Federal Government of Somalia, wrote a popular called Soomaaliya Waa Mashruuc (Somalia is a Project). When the Somali National Television played the song Dr Beyle had been the Foreign Minister of a Government unable to rein in run- away corruption.

Dr Beileh at Brookings Institution

Dr Beileh  extolled the use of mobile money in Somalia despite the fact that the mobile money in circulation in Somalia is denominated in US Dollars. In 2014 the first post-transition government of President Hassan Sheikh Mohamud drew up a plan to print Somali Shillings in Sudan. The plan has not come to fruition.

State collapse meant that no authority has a powers to print Somali Shillings that can be viewed as a legal tender throughout Somalia. In such a monetary situation the national currency of Somalia cannot be fully fungible, one of the criteria for money to be a unit of account. At Africa Growth Initiative at Brookings Doha Center Brookings Growth Summit Dr Beileh pounced at the opportunity to differentiate the incumbent Federal Government from its predecessor and Federal Member States. He questions on what basis Somalia, a homogeneous country, has adopted federalism. He said that citizens  were not keen on federalism. “Only regional leaders are” he added. A catalogue of achievements attained by the Federal Government predisposes Dr Beileh to get gung-ho about centralism.

The Federal Government embarked on successful security reforms that save roughly US$ 10 million previously pocketed by corrupt commanders and managers in the name of phantom soldiers and civil servants in Mogadishu and nearby regions. At an event for the Somali community in USA, Dr Beileh vowed to sue any organisation that describes the Federal Government as corrupt. ” Every year we meet the targets set for us in revenue generation. We follow strict and transparent procurement procedures” the Finance Minister added.

There is a risk that progress in governance may unravel if the Federal Government uses its political platform to deride foundations upon which it is standing.

© Puntland Post Monthly, 2019