By: Yusuf M Hasan
Somalilandsun – The Emirati based Dubai Ports World-DPW is set to start fulfilling contractual obligations as pertains the management and development of the Berbera port.
This was revealed by planning Minister Ali Hussein Ismail ‘Ali Shombe’ from the United Arab Emirates commercial capital Dubai where he is part of a government team that finalizing the DPW contract.
Others in Dubai together with Minister Ali Shombe include presidency, Foreign and Finance ministers, Mahmud Abdi Hashi, Dr Saad Ali Shire and Ms Zamzam Abdi Aden respectively who are tasked with completing negotiations with DPW.
“As you are aware me and other ministers who make up the Berbera port development committee have been in Dubai for final contract negotiations with DPW” read a statement adding that the duration of the team’s stay has entirely been consumed holding various discussions with DPW officials
According to the planning Minister negotiating such a gigantic contract of national importance is not a task to be hurried, the Somaliland team and DPW officials are perusing issues related to the inclusion of sectoral expert firms contracted post initial agreement by the government in Hargeisa.
In May this year the governments of Somaliland and the UAE entered upon a contract worth $442 for DPW to manage and develop the port of Berbera for a period of 30 years pending approval by the Somaliland House of Representatives, the country’s lower chamber of parliament.
The current negotiations in Dubai comes in the heels of an unanimous approval for the multimillion dollar by legislators in early August thence paving the way for the administration to finalize the contract with DP World
In an apparent reference to rumours circulating in Hargeisa the Somaliland capital to the effect that contract negotiations have collapsed minister Ali Shombe urged patience as the complex discussions proceed adding that “Sooner rather than later news that DPW has started operations at Berbera are imminent”
While the contract was initially only pending parliamentary approval, sources indicate that the inclusion of international firms to advise the Somaliland government of specific areas of the deal are reasons behind the intense set of negotiations ongoing in Dubai.
In mid July the government of Somaliland engaged sought consultancy towards monitoring the contractual obligations of Dubai Ports World-DPW as pertains Development and management of Berbera port.
Subsequently three European firms of international repute and global operations were contracted to advise authorities in Hargeisa in relation to Finances, legal and profits returns and sharing aspects of the DP World agreements.
To this effect United Kingdom based EY Building a better working world firm has been contracted to oversee all the financial aspects of the DP World agreement more so as the ultimate take home for both the global port developer and Government of Somaliland that owns the port of Berbera
The legal aspects of the DP World Contract have been assigned Simmons & Simmons another UK based firm which is expected to establish parameters of fair practices, again with a special emphasis on the ultimate benefits to citizens of Somaliland who are actually the real owners.
While the finer points of international agreements NIRAS a Danish firm is to peruse the DP World contract and make recommendations as to how best local citizens can accrue maximum benefits from one of their most important source of income and national prestige.
In conclusion of his statement the Somaliland planning minister Ali Shombe upon reiterating the imperatives of caution as a prelude to finalizing a contract of such magnitude said a full briefing on outcomes shall be issued one the government team in Dubai returns home.
Copyright: Somalilandsun, 2016. www.somalilandsun.com