Somailand: Berbera International Is Booming? But Where Is The Money Going?
Berbera - The port city of Berbera has always played a crucial role in the revenue stream of Somaliland. From the export of livestock to the Arabian peninsula, to the importation of goods and fuel through the port.
The Berbera International Airport is proving to be a new cash cow for Somaliland . According to "YOOL" newspaper in the last 90 days the revenue from the airport has been allegedly reported close to $3.5 Million US Dollars. That is a staggering $1.16 Million Dollars per month, a remarkable $38,800 US Dollars a day.
To some this amount of income would seem to be a mere drop in the ocean, but to a poor country like Somaliland , it is a king's ransom.
Almost all of this revenue has been raised through Airport Tax/Head Tax. A levy on all arriving and departing passengers, as well as, landing fees to airlines using the airport such, Daallo Airlines, Ethiopian Airlines, Jubba Airways, etc.
However, the main question raised by the "YOOL" article is who is responsible for these funds? Where does the revenue go? And does it all go the national revenue?
In an interview with the director of Berbera International Airport , Omar-Sayid Abdillahi Aden, "YOOL" was able to ascertain the following information; along with the news of 48 new employers (recent graduates) at the airport, and the implementation of new security procedures at the airport (which had enabled Ethiopian Airlines to return to Somaliland ), runway maintenance, one of the longest in Africa .
Omar-Sayid Abdillahi Aden, director of Berbera International Airport , the airport facilitated over 53,000 passengers during the busy summer season of June, July and August: which this year coincided with the Holy Month of Ramadan.
In spite of the massive increase in revenue, the director stated that airport is unable to provide any climate control facilities at the terminal. The director was also unable to give "YOOL" any ideas as what stage the proposed new development of the airport is at.
Finally, the director of Berbera International Airport , Omar-Sayid Abdillahi Aden, stated in his interview with "YOOL", that NISA, which handles flight management, is a private enterprise and doesn't come under his jurisdiction.
So, even though Berbera International Airport is busy, and making money, only a small fraction appears to be spent on the airport and the ministry of Civil Aviation doesn't appear to be more forthcoming.