Response to the UN Somali and Eritrea Monitoring Group report on Capacity Building Agreement

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The recent report by the UN Somalia and Eritrea Monitoring Group (SEMG) implies that the Ministry of Petroleum and Mineral Resources of the Federal Republic of Somalia has allegedly acted in a conflict of interest involving payment of staff members at the Ministry of Petroleum and Mineral Resources.

Evidently, the SEMG’s investigative report shows that there is a written agreement entered on 25 April 2014 between the Ministry of Petroleum and Mineral Resources and Soma Oil & Gas Holdings Limited (Soma), clear financial recording mechanism for the payment of capacity building targeted salaries and names of who received the funds.

Furthermore, all payments made to the Ministry of Petroleum and Mineral Resources were deposited through the Central Bank of Somalia and they were accounted for. This agreement is public document and can be viewed here.

Somalia is a nation recovering from a prolonged conflict, we are proud that our institutions are improving and progressing. Good governance, transparency and accountability are of greater essence to Somalia in the proper management of its resources.

Transparency in public service pay and procurements are a national priority and monitored through our internal and international mechanism such as the Financial Governance Committee (FGC).

The SEMG’s characterization on this capacity building contract between the Ministry and Soma Oil and Gas has an expectation of “quid pro quo” is simply inaccurate and misleading.

Like other post-conflict countries, capacity building support is crucial to the development of Somalia’s institutions and human resource development. The Government of Somalia will continue to solicit the support of donors and investors.

The Federal Government of Somalia considers the exploitation and the utilization of its natural resources fairly and equitably as a driving force to achieving macro economic progress in Somalia that would deliver economic independence, industrialization, jobs, revenues, and a relief from aid dependence.