Somalilandsun-Why do African governments keep saying funds disappeared from their bank accounts and vaults? wonders Sebastiane Ebatamehi a in a piece titled “$42M Missing from Somalia’s Ministry of Finance Accounts” published by African Exponent below
In September this year, the Liberian government reported that containers with currency printed worth about $105m disappeared from the port. To date, it has been one story or the other until the case finally died down.
In February, a mysterious snake was said to have sneaked into the vaults of the Joint Admissions and Matriculation Board (JAMB) in Benue State, Nigeria and swallowed N36 million in cash.
That same month, news also broke that senators in Nigeria alleged that N70m handed over to the Northern Senators Forum was swallowed by monkeys in the farm of a top senator and not a dime of the money could be recovered!
What was N70m doing in a monkey’s cage and since when did monkeys swallow money?
Today, Somalia Parliamentary Committee on Finance and Budget have opened an inquiry into ‘missing’ funds amounting to about $42M. How could a country like Somalia with the Somali Shilling going for 580 to a US Dollar say about 24.4 Billion Somali Shillings under the control of the country’s ministry of finance are uncounted for?
In a country where hunger and poverty kill citizens by the second, this is indeed a disheartening revelation.
According to reports by Radio Dalsan, the Somalia Parliamentary Committee on Finance and Budget has released a new statement alleging mismanagement of funds at the Ministry of Finance.
In the report, it was revealed that about $42M is unaccounted for and the Finance Ministry headed by Minister Abdirahman Beilleh, has not been able to provide any reason or explanation on how the funds ‘disappeared’.
Of the funds unaccounted for is $20 million which is part of a $50 million budgetary support from Saudi Arabia granted to the Somalia government in the year 2017.
According to the report the funds have not been indicated in the 2018 budget.
$6M is reported to have been withdrawn from the Somalia Central Bank by a local government committee with no full report by the Ministry on how it was spent.
The report farther claimed that local government employees are illegally deducted 30% from their salary.
The report alleges that $1.5m allocated for humanitarian emergencies including floods and drought was diverted to cater for foreign and local trips and hotel accommodations.
The Banaadir Region Administration has been put on notice to explain how $16.5 million it received between January and June 2018 was spent.
The Parliamentary Committee has ordered the finance ministry to give a full report on the whereabouts of the missing funds.
Let us keep our fingers crossed and hope this case doesn’t die like the others in other parts of Africa.
Header Image Credit: VOA