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PUNTLAND HIGHWAY AUTHORITY (PHA): SIMPLE ADMINISTRATIVE PROBLEM COULDN’T FIND SIMPLE SOLUTION

First and moremost, there is no technical candidate in Somalia more qualified in civil engineering than Dr. Eng Abdulkadir Janagale, the dismissed chairperson of Puntland Highway Authority. I know he has a track record of achievements in multiple technical qualifications both in the USA and Canada. Whether he fits into the Administration of President Said Abdullahi Deni is completely another issue. Eng Janagale, however, had administrative issues with a number of Puntland State departments. He was known to have submitted Authority’s complaints to the attention of highest authorities in the land, including the House of Representatives. Instead of looking into the matter and finding the problem therein, Janagale was sacked summarily. This looks like triger-happy approach to fire a senior civil servant without due process. It makes no sense and it is certainly an arbitrary action to avenge his resorting to media coverage of his agency’s difficulties with a number of influential ministers in Puntland Cabinet.

The State President is the ultimate arbiter for justice in internal departmental conflicts. There are written job descriptions to follow as guidelines for sorting out cross-cutting issues of various departments. Here the ministry of finance can have no issue with the public works of PHA beyond collecting agency’s levies and dispensing them as required to the Authorities.

People of Puntland State expects from President Deni to strengthen public institutions, not weaken them. The case of Puntland Highway Authorities requires investigation and a just solution to the problems courageously exposed by Dr. Abdulkadir Ali Hersi Janagale. PHA, historically known as NESHA (NORTHEAST HIGHWAY AUTHORITY) is the oldest parastatal agency in Puntland, being established long before Puntland foundation. It is an historic institution that needs care and consideration. According to Eng Janagale in his recent press statement, the agency has become a dumping ground for undesirable persons from other departments and a spot for the creation of unrequired jobs to fill in unavailable vacancies on patronage.

A few international partners would be willing to deal with PHA now because of this government interference. The Agency has lost its semi-independent status and its board of directors deemed ineffective or dysfunctional. The previous Gaas Administration also had fired the PHA Managing Director with devastating outcome for the Agency.

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