Somalia parliament passes law allowing foreigner to lead central bank
MOGADISHU, Somalia - Somali MPs voted unanimously to approve controversial legislation allowing the non-Somali citizens to lead the country's central bank, Garowe Online reports.
During Monday's session, the parliament gave the government a green light to assign a foreigner as the governor of the Central bank after passing the amendment with 158 MPs voted yes while 17 rejected and no abstaining.
There are unconfirmed reports that Villa Somalia has settled all process to hire a British national identified as Nigel Roberts to govern the central bank, becoming the first in history.
Roberts, whose appointment is pending worked for the World Bank previously as an agriculture economist in East Africa, including Somalia, Kenya, Sudan, and Uganda.
The Somali government is facing wave of criticism from the public and members of the parliament over the decision to employ a non-Somali to manage the Central Bank amid corruption claims in the 2018 budget.
Zakariye Mohamud Hajji, a Somali lawmaker called the move “outrageous and unlawful”, claiming the country's top leaders had set “a dangerous precedent" that is contrary to the provisional constitutions.
In November last year, Somalia Parliamentary Committee on Finance and Budget have reported that amounting to about $42M appeared from the 2019 budget and opened an inquiry into 'missing' funds.
The committee which has been reshuffled following the bombshell report alleging mismanagement of funds at the Ministry of Finance headed by Minister Abdirahman Beilleh.
When grilled in parliament on November 24, the Minister has not been able to provide any reason or explanation of how the large sum of money 'disappeared' within a year.
Of the funds unaccounted for is $20 million which is part of a $50 million budgetary support from Saudi Arabia granted to the Somalia government in the year 2017.
According to the report the funds have not been indicated in the 2018 budget.
The East African nation has for the past decades been ranked as the most corrupt in the world. Years of efforts to establish an anti-corruption commission to deter and eliminate graft have not yielded any success.