OP-ED: How the Public React to President Bihi’s Decision to Cancel Nationalization of State Institutions


The president of Somaliland H.E Musa Bihi Abdi has been in office for 241 days. On Saturday this week the head of state decreed the nationalization of three governmental services that had fallen into the wrong hands through corrupt officials. The three are Berbera oil storage facility, Egal international Airport security services and parking, which some private companies were managing. Worse still these firms were awarded the contracts without competitive bidding; hence they were being used to fatten some people close to the corridors of power.

President Bihi revoked the contracts of these three companies BOG, SRM and EPASS terming them illegal since there is no law in place to legalizing state/private joint ventures. He also revealed that the procedure that was followed in the privatization of these government services were simply dubious in nature, since it goes against public interests.

The president went further to appoint a committee comprising state officials to evaluate the real amount of money that the three companies made during their tenure of management.   The committee will value if the companies invested any money into the project or if they owe the government any monies due to the investment they put into the project.

According to public opinion the president has scored a lot of marks, since he came to power by promising his supporters that he will sweep the room clean. As the adage goes new brooms sweep clean the president meant whatever he said. During the last presidential election in November the president promised to rid the country of endemic corruption and cronyism which had taken root in the country. He campaign slogan was “Vote for a Decisive President” hence people thronged to polling stations to vote for president Bihi.

The president decision ushers Somaliland into the dawning of a new era whereby corruption will not be entertained. The plan is going well as for now the people thirst of good leadership is unquenchable, hence for a start is encouraging sign that the country is on the right tract.

Presidential edict number RSL/XM/WM/222-178/082018 was the talk of town in every tea shop and public space in Hargeisa and other cities of Somaliland including the cyber space which was awash with praises of president Bihi. It even surpassed the goings on in the region like the Abiy Ahmed changes and the skirmishes in our doorsteps the zone five Somali region of Ethiopia which is on fire.

Political pundits say that the president action is a slap on the face for some ministers who were considered untouchable during the previous administration and who had made the habit of stealing from the public.

People in the know urge the president to show brave face and go after the many institution seized from government control by these unscrupulous elements they cited the electricity utility company and other many government assets stolen by wicked individuals during the former administration.

The government should come up with a law that bans the enrichment of people using state apparatus.

President Musa should rest assured that decisiveness is the first step to good governance the route he has steered Somaliland will forever be etched in people memories as the leader who started the war on corruption. He has shown he can be trusted just like Abiy Ahmed of Ethiopia who has embarked on journey to change the Ethiopia for the better.

By: Omar Mohamed Farah – Director at SOLNA


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