The Somaliland Shilling, today, slid down to SlSh 6700 to the US Dollar following a presidential decree released last evening to put a check on a downward spiralling Shilling which stood at SlSh 8500 to the Dollar on Tuesday.
His Excellency the President, Ahmed Mohamed Mohamoud “Siilaanyo”, released an executive order prohibiting mobile money bankers to permit subscribers use their hard currency wallets for transactions of less than one hundred US dollars.
The presidential edict was conveyed to the press by H.E. Mohamoud Hashi Abdi, Minister for the Presidency.
The decree specifically mentioned ZAAD of Telesom and eDahab of Dahabshiil.
At a press conference the Governor of the Central Bank of Somaliland (CBS), the Minister of Commerce, the Vice Minister of Finance and the Chief Commander of the Somaliland Police forces, jointly held today in Hargeisa, it was announced that the decree was put into effect today.
“None of us can live or go to work with a debilitating inflation threatening the lives of all citizens. The decree orders that the ministry of education, airlines, water authorities, all traders should use the Somaliland Shilling. We are not an Americal State,” Minister Omer Shuaib of Commerce said.
“Living costs for the common citizen was getting out of hand and inflation coupled with the prevailing drought practically threatened to choke the life out of the whole country,” SCB Governor, Dhoobaale said, adding that the only legal tender in Somaliland was the Somaliland Shilling.
In the same breath, the SCB Governor spouted a string of heavy-handed measures that did not sit well with the results expected. He stated, for one, that Forex licenses held by Telesom, Dahabshiil and Oomaar were revoked.
The Governor, strangely enough, said nothing about the uncontested villains of the devaluation spree: the drug lords who traded in the Qat (Khat) narcotic. These merchants stuffed dollar bills into burlap sacks and crossed thgem over to Ethiopia to buy the narcotic stuff that is regarded as the bane of Somaliland economy. No foreign currency earner is sold to Ethiopia to wholly or partially bring back the Dollars that crossed over.
Ali Mohamed, Vice Minister of Finance, stated that none can be tolerated to thwart the presidential move.
“The Republic of Somaliland is only concerned in coming to the aid of its public. Anybody who attempts to thwart the moves taken to curb the soaring inflation has only himself to blame for his actions,” he said.
The VM undertook that all possible measures will be taken to ensure that dollar rates go down and stay there.
On his part, Chief Commander, Brigadier Fadal, vowed that anybody who contravened the measures curtailing the soaring inflation will be dealt with accordingly.
By and large, the general public warmly welcomed the measure not apparently fully comprehending all the ramifications, hence, the surprising dive the dollar took today in Somaliland markets.