Transport operators turned out in large number at the main square in Bosaso, Puntland, to share their tribulations at the hands of businesses that reject the use of the Somali shilling for transactions.
“As bus and mini-bus drivers we accept the Somali shilling from passengers paying their fares. When we try to buy food and other commodities, businesses refuse to accept the Somali shilling. I went to bed hungry last night, unable to buy food with the Somali shillings I have. We cannot buy fuel because fuel sellers demand US dollars for transactions. We cannot operate our transport businesses until the matter is resolved” said a young driver.
“We call on the Puntland Government to enforce the rules consistently across the board. Let us use either the Somali shilling or the dollar for transactions” said another driver.
Last week the Puntland Government published measures to enforce the use of the Somali shilling for transactions.
Yesterday, Golis, a major telecommunications company in Puntland, introduced an account in its E-wallet to facilitate transactions in the Somali shilling as a part of measures to rein in the depreciation of the Puntland-printed Somali shilling against the dollar.
Passengers use the Somali shilling to pay fares.
Transport operators in Bosaso are among businesses that adhere to the government rules about the use of the Somali shilling for transactions. Inconsistent application of the government’s monetary policy shows hurdles the government must surmount to have its intervention taken seriously.
Bari regional administration has yet to respond to transport operators’ complaint.
This article first appeared in the © Puntland Post, 2020 and is republished with permission