December 16, 2019 (AO) – A former coordinator with United Nation’s Somalia-Eritrea Monitoring group has posted on Twitter an email from the Somali Minister of Information Abdirahman Beyle directing the central bank to move 5 million US dollars to a sub-account outside the oversight of the country’s financial management system.
The March 2019 appears to have been sent to the deputy governor of the Somali Central Bank. It reads:
“Good morning. As we discussed, I am requesting the following action taken quickly.
- Transfer of $2.00 million from the Saudi Money
- Hormuud will bring 2.5 million on April first, 2019
- An amount of 0.5 million will be transferred from our STA (I spoke with Fadumo to do the needful)
“These add up to be 5.00 million dollars. Please Put this full five million dollars into a sub-account called MNIGA to be used only for activities related to national security.”
In his tweet, Jay Bahadur appears to be criticising the government’s financial management system. He says: “An indicator of the FGS’s progress with respect to financial management: a March 2019 email in which the FGS Minister of Finance orders $5 million to be transferred to a sub-account based upon a phone call to the Central Bank governor.”
He later clarified that he was not implying there was something corrupt in the email, merely pointing out the issue because the auditor general had in the past expressed concerns about the creation of such sub-accounts.
In response, Minister Beileh said this was a “shameless misrepresentation” of legitimate private email, and that the action was aimed at hindering international support for Somalia.
“It is sad that a few naysayers want to stand in front of global support for #Somalia’s debt relief with shameless misrepresentation of illegally obtained legitimate private email. Our PFM system is rock solid, transparent & improving by the day. We are committed to our reforms,” the minister said.
Opposition parties have been raising concerns about the government’s management of finances, saying the system was rife with corruption.