Somaliland: Government Leases Berbera Fuel Storage Facility to Private Investors

Somaliland Minister of Commerce and International Investment Hon Muse Kassim today in an interview with BBC Somali language service broke the ice after he revealed the leasing of the state owned Berbera Fuel storage facility to private firms.

The Minister of Commerce Speaking to BBC Somali language service said, “The Ministry of Commerce and International investment has of yesterday (Monday) officially leased Berbera Fuel Storage facility to six locally private firms for a duration of 20 years.

Hon Muse Kassim without going into further details regarding the deal added,“Somaliland government shall still however still control and check the quality of all petroleum products being imported into the country.

Some of the private investors involved have in the past accused of importing sub-standard fuel many local businesses at the time incurred financial losses and now with little or no government control the prospects things getting worse seems high.

The Somaliland House of Representative had previously vehemently rejected a bill supported by the government to privatize the Berbera Fuel storage facility to private firms.

It’s clear that there is a sinister plot to rip-off Somalilanders of their national wealth hatched by a clique of well-connected individuals working in cohorts with known bunch of ruthless and profit orientated businessmen who now more than ever stand to benefit at the behest of the masses through monopolizing the trade.

Many questions remain unanswered such:-

  1. Why details of deal haven’t being made public and still remain shrouded in secrecy
  2. Who stands to benefit from the deal, is it in the interest of the nation, or is it structured for the personal benefit of some special interests.
  3.  If other potential investors local or foreign were availed the opportunity to place their bids and if the bidding  process if any was an open and transparent process.
  4.   In which way did the six fit the criteria set and?
  5. If the six firms have prior experience of managing and maintaining fuel depots, or resources to do a cleanup in case of Major environmental disaster.
  6. Can the deal be blocked through the courts by citizens and so forth?