Somalilandsun: While competition in any business activity is good for consumers it is unfair to grant privileges to some operators.
This was the rallying cry by Local truck owners and their drivers at the Wajale Dry Port during protests against licenses granted to some well connected operators by the Somaliland ministry of commerce.
According to the truck owners the licenses allows the grantees to haul vegetables directly from Ethiopia to Hargeisa thus eliminating the locals who were conduit between the two countries.
“Prior to this new arrangement the Ethiopian Truckers used to deposit their cargo at our , Somaliland, side of the dry port from where we took over for distribution in our country” said a spokesman of Himilo Truck Owners Cooperative
According to the truck owners the new licensing scheme creates a monopoly for their counterparts from Ethiopia thus putting the locals out of business.
“If this deal is straightforward and not one geared to enrich a few well connected operators then Somaliland truckers should be allowed to haul goods from Berbera straight to destinations in Ethiopia” argue the truckers
Accusing the commerce ministry of not consulting with them or undertaking any studies on the matter prior to the special preference licenses the truckers who say they might cease payment of huge amount in taxes.