Members of Central Bank of Somalia’s Board Abruptly Resign, Leaving Us Perplexed
MOGADISHU — In an absolutely astonishing turn of events, three eminent officials from the esteemed Central Bank of Somalia have shockingly tendered their resignations on Sunday, pointing directly at the escalating interference by none other than President Hassan Sheikh Mohamud himself.
The unsettling departure of three distinguished members from the bank’s five-member board has sent shockwaves through the financial sector, sparking grave concerns about the independence and transparency of Somalia’s essential financial institutions.
Dr. Abdisamad Nur Loyan, Dr. Sakhawudin Mustapha Mohamed, and Dr. Osman Salad Gabeyre, all highly influential figures involved in crucial decision-making processes at the bank, have taken the jarring decision to step down, conveying their deep dissatisfaction with the President’s intrusive involvement in the bank’s affairs which effectively rendered their roles redundant and inconsequential.
One of the chief bones of contention revolves around the issue of procurement. The officials have raised serious allegations of the Governor’s interference in the procurement process, claiming that it has encroached upon the bank’s autonomy and has stirred worries about a glaring absence of proper regulations, particularly when it comes to the management of contracts.
Adding fuel to the already raging fire, President Mohamud recently issued a letter that seemed to dictate the manner in which the board members ought to conduct their mandated duties, even going so far as to prohibit their participation in vital meetings, internal discussions, and virtual gatherings on platforms such as Zoom. This domineering move only served to intensify their exasperation, ultimately leading to their collective decision to resign.
Furthermore, the Board of Directors strongly opposed the President’s proposal to extend the current Governor’s term at the Central Bank by another staggering four years, a move that they argue casts doubts on the President’s commitment to fostering a fair and competitive selection process for top positions within the institution.
Moreover, the officials vehemently disapproved of President Mohamud’s decision to empower his economic team, whose close alliance with him has prompted allegations that they overtly interfere with the day-to-day affairs of the bank, further exacerbating concerns about the bank’s independence and impartiality.
According to them, this nepotistic approach has severely undermined the credibility and efficacy of the bank’s economic policies. The Central Bank has faced relentless criticism for the country’s economic stagnation, with accusations that it has been utilized as a clandestine slush fund for Villa Somalia.
The lack of transparency surrounding the withdrawal of funds by the Presidency has given rise to grave concerns and has added to mounting worries expressed by international partners who caution that such practices risk undoing the significant progress made in improving the country’s financial system and jeopardizing ongoing debt relief efforts.
The resignation statement by the Board Members unmistakably reveals their exasperation with the overall economic state of the nation, underscoring the urgent need for reform and independent decision-making within the financial institutions.
The departure of these key Board Members has created a profound void in the leadership of the Central Bank, instilling anxiety among stakeholders and international observers regarding the future of the country’s financial stability and economic growth.
It is worth noting that a mere two weeks ago, Dr. Elmi Mohamud Nur, the Minister of Finance, took the decisive action of suspending two officials at the Ministry of Finance based on allegations of mismanagement and corruption. However, he was astonishingly met with fierce resistance from the president who insisted that he revoke their dismissals, only to promptly terminate Mr. Nur’s employment himself a few hours later.
Mr. Nur’s dismissal has attracted substantial public attention and has sparked strong backlash, with many asserting that it serves as undeniable evidence that President Mohamud’s anti-corruption rhetoric is nothing more than empty rhetoric, given that members of his own family and allied politicians continue to evade scrutiny for their involvement in dubious activities and enjoy complete impunity.
At present, President Mohamud’s office has yet to respond to the allegations put forth by the resigning officials. However, the Governor of the Central Bank is expected to release a statement in regard to the resignation of these influential figures.