Abdi Aziz Sugulle, Chairman of SAMSA – an organization that unites Somali remittance companies in the US, told the BBC Somali Service that Somali remittance services to Somali territories would officially recommence tomorrow, 1st March.
Mr. Sugulle said the move follows a meeting they held with the concerned authorities. Mr. Sugulle revealed that the arrangement was temporary, and that, if a long term solution was not reached soon, the situation may deteriorate to an irreversible position.
Mr. Sugulle, responding to a question about the outcome of a meeting that regulators held with members of the Congress yesterday, said that follow up meetings were scheduled between the two sides to explore venues for a permanent solution to the Somali remittance dilemma.
The good thing that comes out of that meeting and similar moves is that the US administration is now in a better, stronger position to assess the importance of remittances to Somalis as a lifeline that people cannot live without.
For the ordinary Somali beneficiary of remittances, a great deal depends on the small sums of moneys that people receive at the end of each month to pay for or augment living costs, and for expenses incurred relating to education, health and similar areas.
Without an open system to remit small sums of moneys to relatives in recipient countries, the MSBs will be unfairly forced out of the market and, certainly, shady agents sending money through illegal channels will take over.
On the other hand, Somalis believe that banks have a hand in the latest developments encouraging the closure of MSB bank accounts not only for Somali remittance companies but for a great number of MSBs operating on behalf of the developing countries. The MSBs handle a great volume of money for small commission rates that the banks have been eyeing for a number of years now, critics allege.
Listen to the Mr. Sugulle talking with Mohamed Haji Hussein of the BBC Somali Service below: