Somaliland: Government Acknowledges Glut of Highly Dangerous Smuggled Fuel

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Increasing road accidents and dirty fuel, is there a connection?“A large quantity of smuggled dirty fuel is entering the country from both the Eastern and Western borders” Commerce minister

By: Yusuf M Hasan

HARGEISA (Somalilandsun) – Smuggled petroleum products have a negative effect on the economy.

The ministry of commerce has termed smuggled fuel as cause of concern for the authorities in relation to lost revenue and increased vehicles maintenance costs.

This is per the minister of commerce Hon Abdirazak Khalif Ahmed who informed, during an interview with Jamhuuriya newspaper that the smuggled petroleum products enter the country through border points in the east and west of the country.

“Apart from the loss of revenue, the smuggled fuel is also dirty thus a headache to transporters and private car owners due to increased maintenance costs” Said minister Khalif.

It was revealed that the government had managed to curb the fuel smuggling through coordinated activities between the former finance minister Mohamed Elmi Hashi, Commerce department and security agencies.

Minister Khalif informed that his dept. is in similar arrangements with Samale, the finance minister who is studying measures to curb the now chronic illegal profusion of petroleum products that is known to be a rampant activity between the Sl-Djibouti borders as well as from Bosaso port in Somalia.

While the government is intent on curbing the smuggling of fuel, which is a menace to economic growth, elders from some areas like Seyla, Lughaya and Bulahaar is an obstacle as they allege the intent is to cripple them commercially.

Though we commend the government for finally acknowledging the increasing quantity of dirty smuggled fuel it is imperative that urgent remedial measures be undertaken thus affect a reduction of the poor quality product since total elimination is similar to boarding a ship in the Sahara.

On the other hand, the upsurge dirty petroleum smuggling is as a direct result of the curtailed Total oil contract that is yet to be replaced despite several suggestions by the national tender board that it is in the process of inviting bids from competent local and foreign companies.

By the way, what happened to the much Touted HASS petroleum company that promised cheap quality products? Is the bid for Total’s replacement still under review almost a year to date? Is it possible that this dirty fuel has something to do with the escalating number of road accidents in the country?

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