MOGADISHU – Somali MP Abdirizak Mohamed has strongly protested against country’s plan to pay a US lobbying firm $400,000 through the end of this year.
Hon. Mohamed called paying Sonoran Policy Group (SPG) amounts to corruption. SPG based in Arizona signed a lobbying contract with the FGS to help Somalia to gain renewed funding for the country’s army and lifting ban on Somalis’ travel to America imposed by US president Donald Trump.
“This is corruption at its ugliest form by our government. We can not afford to pay such egregious amount to US lobbying firm, while our government relies on foreign aid to sustain itself and feed its people. This is outrageous and unacceptable” he said.
Hon. Mohamed added “ mismanaging aid and donor support constitutes corruption, and affects economic development as well as aid effectiveness”.
He stressed there has been a growing consensus that these activities threatens development and may reverse hard gained progress.
He called for increased efforts from International partners to help fight corruption, and other illicit activities that derail economic development and affect accountability and public transparancy.
The US lobbying firm agreement was signed jointly by Somalia’s UN envoy Abukar Osman and Christian Bourge, executive director of the SPG in earlier this month.
The SPG firm commits to arrange talks with White House officials and lawmakers aimed at ending a partial of US suspension of funding for the Somali National Army forces.
The firm will also facilitate a future visit to the US by Somalia President Mohamed Abdullahi Mohamed, the agreement stipulates.
The payments to SPG of Sh 10 million ($100,000) per month for four months, entails other general work by the lobbying group to enhance Somalia’s image in the US, the agreement said.
Last year, US suspened food and fuel aid
to Somali government’s military forces over alleged rampant corruption scandal.