The Minister of Finance Development Dr. Saad Ali Shire has submitted the 2022 budget to the Somaliland Parliament on Monday 27th of December and faced a torrent of questions from the newly elected members of the Parliament regarding the 400 million US dollar budget. This is an increase of roughly 17% or 57 million from the 2021 budget which was 343 million US dollars.
The 2022 budget includes $33,069,231.53 US dollars from the World Bank and other donors for various projects including the Civil Service Strengthening Project and Somali Electricity Access Project.
The budget includes 6 million dollars to pay down the national debt which is 38% less than previous budget years 10 million dollar allocation for debt repayment. Somaliland’s national debt is opaque and current and former government have both denied the existence of tens of millions of dollars of debt.
Among the many questions the parliament has asked the Minister of Finance Development, Dr. Shire, is the tens of millions of dollars that is directly given to many government entities including the Ministry of Education and Health that is not shown in the national budget and is held in private bank accounts. Minister Shire stated that it has been hard to get aid agencies to divulge budget information for inclusion in the national budget but that the Ministry of Finance Development is working on ensuring that all funds flow through the proper channels to ensure oversight and accountability.
Traditionally, little debate went into approving the national budget with even fewer questions but it is unclear if the new parliament will approve the budget in its current form or make amendments.