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Workers at the port are pleased to earn a decent salary. “I am very glad. Every day, I go to the port and return late in the day, having earned enough for my family. I see every day many boats enter the port and transporting goods,” said Mohamud Omar, a old dockworker.
Somalia Report interviewed Ahmed Abdi Kaariye, the Deputy Director of the Port of Mogadishu
1. Has the port’s income increased recently?
Yes, it has greatly increased recently. For instance, we have seen an increase in profit of 52% over the past five months.
2. What do you think has caused this increase?
I think several aspects have caused this development. First, the security of the port has become much better. Secondly, we improved our control over the port authorities and workers to remove opportunities for bribery and theft, which increases morale and trust. Thirdly, international aid delivered to the Somali people has doubled the activities of the port.
3. How did you establish the value of port revenue?
We have established our own administration and accountability special to the port, which has a close relationship to the revenue authority. Security at the port has been ensured, we have plans to reinvest our revenue in the port. We compute our profits every three months, by which we assess whether we are decreased or increasing in activity.
4. Can you tell us more about developments in recent months?
For example in November, the dock produced $2.6Million, October $2.3million and September $1.4million in revenue. From this, you can understand how active the port is and the acceleration of its work and also profit.
5. Who controls this very big amount and where do you keep it?
We have a separate agency which controls that money, part of the Ministry of Finance. We also have a national Bank to hold and calculate revenue properly.
These developments at the port of Mogadishu come after a long period marked by corruption and mismanagement.
UPDATE: Corruption at Mogadishu Port Adressed
Somali supreme court judge Eydid Abdulahi announced on Sunday that the court had sentenced two officials, the officer of taxation in the seaport and his deputy, to one-and-a-half years in prison on charges of corruption. According to the judge, the sentenced officials, along with accomplices, were trying to loot equipment belonging to the UN World Food Program (WFP) in the seaport.