Development Delays: Puntland Leader Faces Criticism Over Blocked Projects

Accusations have surfaced against Puntland’s leader, Said Deni, by Somalia’s Deputy Minister of Finance, Abdiqafar Hassan Hange, alleging that Deni has blocked numerous development projects essential for job creation and economic opportunities in the region.

During a speech delivered in Mogadishu on Friday, Minister Hange underscored the backlog of projects, valued at hundreds of millions of dollars, awaiting approval from Puntland’s administration.

These projects, including the national teachers’ salary project, the Damal Health project, the Barwaaqo project (formerly Biyole), the budget subsidy project, and the Energy and Electricity project, were outlined by Minister Hange.

Minister Hange criticized Deni, accusing him of deliberately impeding progress and prosperity in Puntland, exhibiting traits reminiscent of a dictator.

Furthermore, Minister Hange asserted that Deni’s ongoing political dispute with the federal government is obstructing vital development endeavors for the state.

In May 2023, Minister Hange implied that Deni’s opposition to the federal government may have stemmed from his failed bid for the Prime Minister position.

In 2022, Deni publicly backed Mohamud during the national presidential elections, which culminated in Mohamud’s victory over the incumbent President, Mohamed Abdullahi Farmaajo. Despite expectations, Deni did not secure the Prime Minister position under Mohamud’s administration.

However, just last week, Puntland declared its intention to operate independently until constitutional amendments are ratified through a referendum.

Puntland, with approximately 4.9 million inhabitants in northeastern Somalia, witnessed its regional lawmakers reelect Said Abdullahi Deni as leader for another five-year term in January

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