Mogadishu (UM) – The Minister of Finance Dr. Abdirahman Duale Beileh said that for the first time since the beginning of the civil war, salaries for Embassy staff and just over 5,000 soldiers in and around Mogadishu will be paid directly into banks accounts.
During his monthly press conference, Minister Beileh committed to ending cash handling in all its forms, including in services and salary payments by the government.
“We have to pay everybody through a bank account. We are doing this for the majority of government employees already and the military biometric registration will continue until all are paid directly through an account,” said Minister Beileh. He continued to stress that this is an important IMF Staff Monitored Program (SMP) requirement which must be met.
Until recently, Somali civil servants, Diplomats and government contractors were paid in cash. Now, under the Ministry of Finance reform program, this must cease.
Somali diplomats stationed abroad and some of the registered soldiers who are now paid directly into a bank account welcomed the Minister’s reforms.
“I use to see 60% of my salary when the officers used to pay me in cash but now I get my full salary,” said a soldier who did not want to be named. “I only receive a small salary and I am happy that I can have it all.”
“In the past the Ambassador used to collect the quarterly running costs and pay us what they wanted,” said a Somali Diplomat who spoke to UM on the condition of anonymity. “Now, the reforms by Minister Beileh, this is finished. There is no more robbery by Ambassadors.”
The biometric registration of Somali soldiers will continue and the government has until next year to complete this benchmark set under the new SMP 3 agreed last month with the International Monetary Fund.