Somaliland: Egal Airport Requires $27m for Complete Upgrade -says VP

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Let’s shun tribalism for meaningful progress to take place, he urges the public

VP Sayli during the interview at the presidency

By M.A. EGGE

Somalilandsun – “The face-lifting works at Hargeisa International Airport has been going on as per projected,” said the VP H.E. Abdirahman abdillahi Seili’i while assuaging rumours of corruption in an exclusive interview with Dawan Media Group that touched on side range of issues

At the same time the VP revealed that it required up to 27 million dollars to completely upgrade the airport into a high class international port.

He made the revelations in his office yesterday to chairman Mohammed Osman Mire (Seyyid) and his deputy Omar Mohammed Farah.

While answering tough prods from the journalists duo touching on general infrastructure, security, economy, corruption charges leveled by the opposition, education and other assorted and the legislative sectors, the VP appeared candid, cohesive and quite articulate.

He appealed to Somalilanders to refrain from thinking, acting or living in tribal lines in order to foster stability for progress to set in.

He described the opposition’s hues and cries to foreigners as a stab in the back that only gave birth to retrogression.

H.E. Seili’i dispelled rumours that the executive members were at loggerheads hence said that they all toed ethical and orderly lines as expected.

He reminded the populace that 75m USD plus budget amount increment since they came into office three years ago vouched for them.

He likewise disclosed that the Turkish government is expected to invest in diverse industries in the country hence would help beef up the public technical education sector establishment.

The VP reiterated the need for unity and hailed the populace as being patriotic.

He said that the security department is always on the standby for any eventualities.

Some of the excerpts of the interview went as follows when loosely translated:-

Q: Could you tell of the general situation in the country and what major issues you presently have at hand?

V.P: We are thriving with the general stability in the country hence blessed with abundant rainfall.

I am happy to state that our Head of State was highly welcomed in Turkey and that the Turks are ready to bilaterally work with us on trade, investiture and political fronts, especially on basic infrastructure.

The Somalia/Somaliland talks is scheduled to go on in its third phase come the beginning of next month.

Q: Claims have been rampant that developmental issues and several foundation-stone-laying projects by the government are mere lip-services to hoodwink the members of the public.

VP: There is nothing like lip services or placeboes on our part other than commitments.

Whatever we do are done with determination as can be witnessed in the past three years whereby our budgets have continually increased several folds- now standing at 75m USD plus -(more than when we took over).

Q: The opposition members are quite vicious in the recent days and have started several onslaughts even to seek foreign sympathy.

VP: It is sadly a bad omen for a people with aspirations to be a dejure state to reveal cracks in their walls.

There are ways, means, norms and etiquettes whose mode to put a government in check is ethically and regulatory laid down in defined versions.

Hitherto, works went on without defined polices but our administration have put many in place.

It should be noted that a journey of a thousand steps starts with the first.

Q: What is the problem with the Hargeisa Airport?

VP: Surely a feasibility study showed that it required 27 million dollars to upgrade Hargeisa Airport to a high class international one.

We allocated the 4.5 to do the facelifts and it has so far been going on as planned and expected. The remaining fencing and assorted issues are to be done swiftly.

Of the $10m Kuwaiti grant, one million was on the feasibility study and the rest were divided for both Hargeisa and Berbera airports.

We further expect a $5m Kuwaiti grant to build the Hargeisa airport hangers, additional runway and the various expected areas deserved.

So far, the money went to uplift and modernize what we had.

Q: What of the allegations of corruption in contracts at the Genel saga.

V.P: Basically, when a company is awarded a project it is traditionally legal and tenable for the same entity to award sub-contracts.

To say or assume that the contracts were to be through the National Tender Board is not bounding hence the allegations are null and void.

Q: How’s your working relation with the legislative?

VP: We work in good tandem with the parliament, something which is quite a marked deviation from the norm that was in place before our arrival.

Nothing can be achieved if all arms of the state don’t work dually.

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