“Why should we, Somalilanders, rely on fish imports from Mogadishu and elsewhere while our waters hold over 600 different species” Fisheries minister
“The incompatible two, Stop Tahrib through creation of employment and opposition against investments” Presidency minister
“Pontus Marine Ltd intents to harness local resources towards development of the fishery sector thus secure hitherto elusive global markets for the abundant and locally untapped marine products- Mohamed Yusuf
By: Yusuf M Hasan
HARGEISA (Somalilandsun) – As local fishermen continue to wallow in poverty citizens are consuming fish imported from Somalia and as a far as Philippines among other countries.
This anomaly which was highlighted during the launch of the Pontus Marine ltd Fisheries development program in Hargeisa has been termed as negative to the country’s economy by government officials, politicians, ordinary citizens and business concerns as well participating at the function held at Ambassador Hotel in Hargeisa.
Speaker after Speaker upon welcoming and supporting the Pontus marine ltd initiative of fishery sector development by harnessing local resources through company shares issue urged the public to take active part by buying the shares worth $5m which are priced at a $1 each with a minimum of 500.
The presidency minister Hirsi Haji Ali who told participants that the development of the fisheries sector was long overdue urged citizens to embrace current trends thus refrain from perceiving any venture with a clan or regional view.
“Stop Tahrib through creation of employment and opposition against investments are two very incompatible demands some section of the public continues to make on the government,” Said the presidency minister
Urging wholehearted support to the Pontus marine fishery development Initiative Minister Hirsi reminded citizens the difficulties placed on the government’s quest as pertains to various investments like oil exploration and Berbera factory rehabilitation.
Said he, “While oil exploration is now underway smoothly and proceeding to the extraction phase the rehabilitation of the Berbera Cement factory remains untenable following opposition from some citizens”
Decrying the ongoing import of fish while the country’s fishery sector remains undeveloped the minister of Fisheries and Marine Resources Ali Jama Farah ‘Bureed’ said his ministry shall work with and provide all necessary support possible to the Pontus marine initiative.
“In order to revive the local fishing industry the government through my ministries and other departments is ready to provide Pontus Marine with all necessary support towards attainment of its sector development objective” said Minister Bureed
Wondering how anyone would oppose a local initiative while the country imports fish from Somalia and other countries the Fisheries minister said
“Why should we, Somalilanders, rely on fish imports from Mogadishu and elsewhere while our waters hold over 600 different species”
In an address that elicited laughter from participants at the Pontus marine launch event in Hargeisa the Chairman of Guurti-which is the upper chamber of parliament Hon Suleiman Mahmud Aden said that some claimants to community leadership should carefully attune with developments fronted by the government or citizens before opposing them in the guise of protecting local communities against exploitation.
Referring to a recent visit to an area in the east of the country where residents were up in arms against the exploration of oil by an international company contracted by the government, dispute having emanated from media campaigns by some unscrupulous and self-seeking individuals claiming to represent the interest of the local community the house of elder’s leader said
“Following some arguments about oil exploration in the east of the country I Recently visited one of the areas and in a meeting with leaders and citizens flimsy and unfounded reason were given for their objections to the venture”
As he relived the meeting Hon Suleiman Aden said that having put the picture concisely especially as per the ultimate benefits of the venture to both the community and the nation at-large things are back to normal with the formerly hostile residents enthusiastically supporting and taking part.
“The successful exploration of oil in this area will not only see you get gainful employment but also stop your seasonal migration from one grazing area to another” the Guurti leader told a laughter full audience
He informed that he managed to deter further opposition and gain community support for exploration after clearly giving factual information as opposed to the earlier provided by the self-seekers especially as to the immense economical advancements to be accrued.
“Not only you but your goats and other livestock shall also benefit due to availability of funds towards enriching grazing areas and providing sufficient drinking water” Elder Suleiman reminisced as having told the residents.
During his presentation Diaspora based lawyer Mohamed Yusuf who is fronting the Pontus Marine Ltd initiative of fisheries sector development though harnessing local resources detailed the three main important timelines of the program as being:
• Availing Cold Storage facilities
• Transportation and
Pontus Marine Ltd intents to harness local resources towards development of the fishery sector thus secure hitherto elusive global markets for the abundant and locally untapped marine products- said Mohamed Yusuf
On the programs procedures Mr. Yusuf informed “After establishing cold storage facilities in Mayd port Sanaag region and a viable land and sea transport system emanating from Mayd and based in Berbera the next stage will be international marketing beginning with Ethiopia and later proceeding to the various countries in Europe where fish remains in great demand”
On the issue of investment guarantees that has continuously dodged Pontus marine raised by prospective investors during launches in Burao, Berbera and Hargeisa lawyer Mohamed Yusuf informed that the venture is a business investment and not a ‘Hegbaad’ (merry go round) thus liable to profit or loss
Said he, “What I can guarantee is that your money shall go where and do what it is intended for”