16/09/08 (B465) Garowe ON Line / Une compagnie “peu connue” gérera le port de Bossaso. A little-known company to ‘manage’ Bossaso port (Info lecteur – En Anglais)

___________________________ Note de notre correspondant

M. Lootah a réalisé des investissements dans plusieurs projets à Djibouti. Certains le considèrent comme le bras droit d’IOG et son associé préférés pour gérer les affaires particulières ou même “louches”, comme le prétend la rumeur. Il est d’origine iranienne.

___________________________ Garowe On Line

A small company based in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) will manage the Port of Bossaso in northern Somalia under a new deal, confidential sources tell Garowe Online.

In August, Puntland President Adde Muse announced that unnamed foreign companies will manage the region’s airports and the port of Bossaso, the regional government’s economic backbone.

But the Puntland leader has not formally presented official documents to the Puntland Parliament for debate and ratification or to the public.

An independent inquiry by Garowe Online has disclosed that a little-known, UAE-based company called Integratia and chaired by a wealthy businessman named Ibrahim Saeed Lootah will manage the Port of Bossaso under a deal with President Muse.

Garowe Online sources in Dubai said Integratia will be given a 70% stake in owning and operating the Port of Bossaso and has also requested 70% stake in customs funds which be used for profit and reinvestment.

Further, a controversial figure in Puntland is pushing the deal behind the scenes, our sources added.

Mr. Liban Muse Bogor, a relative of the Puntland leader, is reportedly a shareholder in Integratia along with President Muse.

In July, Mr. Bogor resigned from the Board of Directors of Australia-based mining firm Range Resources, Ltd., which claimed to have oil exploration rights in Puntland under a deal with Muse. [ READ: Puntland Ruler’s Relative Resigns from Range Resources]

The Puntland leader has contacted several traditional elders and invited them to Dubai to attend the signing ceremony, which is scheduled to take place later this month.

But many of the elders have “excused themselves” from the event, the sources added.

It is not clear why President Muse wants the support of traditional elders, but the Muse administration has minimal support among the public and the Parliament.

Further, the Muse government’s term in office expires in January and a new administration might reject the deal, a definite worry for potential investors.

Since coming to power in 2005, President Muse has inked several agreements with foreign companies whereby he collected sign-on bonuses that never made it to the government treasury, according to Parliament’s budget hearings in June.