Saturday, June 21, 2003

Remittance companies stiffly cautioned against status change
HARGEISA, 22 JUNE 2003 (Jamhuriya)--In a stiffly worded directive the governor of the Somaliland Bank, Abdel Rahman Dualeh broadcasted over the state-run “Radio Hargeisa” on Tuesday, June 17 and which, subsequently, the five-day state-owned Maandeeq ran on Thursday, June 19, remittance companies, some of whom arranged “running” accounts for clients, would, hitherto, be operating outside the law if they continued to carry out “banking” activities ‘above and beyond’, what their ‘remittance licences’ permitted them.

According to the statement the governor exclusively granted the two government media outlets, any remittance company found to be operating such banking activities such as current or deposit accounts, would open itself for state penalties that would certainly include withdrawal of operating licenses.

“We, furthermore, wish to inform the general public that the sole institution which can, presently, operate such accounts on their behalf is the Bank of Somaliland”, the Governor statement said.

The statement went deeper into the subject by cautioning the public to steer clear of “those who wish to mislead so to promote own interests”.

How this ‘misleading’ of public trust was discovered at this juncture of time, or who the real culprits that customers should give a wide birth were in actual fact, the statement did not say. Neither did the statement attach names to ‘certain remittance companies’ that the governor alluded to, accusing them of calling themselves ‘banks’ that were offering market shares to the public.

By not being more forthcoming on either of the above, the statement, it appears, only intended to put a scare on the money market of Somaliland, specially as the Governor did not back his blistery statement with accommodating state laws violated or the promulgation of new bills banging close, for example, strong trust Dahabshiil – the oldest and financially most tried of Somaliland remittance companies – forged with clients ever since the deposal of the former Somalia military dictator, and the re-affirmation of Somaliland Sovereignty over 12 years ago.

Mohamed Saeed Dualeh, founder/President of the giant Dahabshiil Pvt LTD Company, which runs a chain of remittance offices worldwide, told reporter Ahmed Saeed Egeh of the BBC Somali Service, Friday, that he was not particularly alarmed by the Governor’s statement. MORE

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