GENEL Energy: Senior Official's Corrupt Practices Threaten Somaliland's Oil Exploration
GENEL Energy's representative in Somaliland, Mr. Ibrahim, and its subcontractor, ADCON, have engaged in corrupt practices that have had a negative impact on the country's future. ADCON initially won the contracting rights through bribery and has since misappropriated local awareness-raising funds, mismanaged oil exploration, mistreated the local population, awarded contracts to companies affiliated with senior officials at the oil drilling company, and pledged illegal amendment of contracts.
One of the most egregious examples of corruption is Mr. Ibrahim's misappropriation of awareness funds, and others. He was entrusted with managing funds to raise awareness of the oil drilling project and its benefits for the local community. However, instead of using these funds for their intended purpose, he pocketed them for himself through ADCON. The amount of embezzled funds reached almost 5 million US Dollars all intended for developing the local communities. This betrayal of trust has had a devastating impact on the local community.
Many people in Somaliland were excited about the potential benefits of the oil drilling project. They hoped that it would create jobs, boost the economy, and improve their lives. However, Mr. Ibrahim's theft of awareness funds has dashed these hopes. Without proper awareness and education, the local community is now less likely to support the project. This could lead to delays, increased costs, and even the demise of the project altogether.
In addition, Mr. Ibrahim's misappropriation of funds has fueled anger and resentment among the local community. People feel that they have been deceived and exploited by Mr. Ibrahim and the oil drilling company. This could lead to social unrest and violence, which would further damage the project and harm the local community.
Mr. Ibrahim's murky relations with Somalia are also a major concern. It is clear that he is more interested in sabotaging the project and damaging the company's relationship with the locals through shady, corrupt, and off-table deals in order to shrink community involvement, rather than in acting in the best interests of his employer and Somaliland. His secret links with Somalia have also raised concerns among the local community. Many people in Somaliland are suspicious of Somalia's motives, and they fear that Mr. Ibrahim is working to sabotage the oil drilling project’s failure for Somalia's gain. This has led to increased animosity towards the oil drilling company and its employees.
These corrupt practices are not only immoral, but they also pose a serious threat to Somaliland's future. If this animosity is not addressed, it could lead to further delays and disruptions to the project. It could also make it more difficult for the oil drilling company to recruit and retain workers. In the worst-case scenario, the animosity could escalate into violence, forcing the oil drilling company to withdraw from Somaliland altogether.
One of the most concerning aspects of the GENEL Somaliland representative's behavior is their planned expulsion of contracted vehicles in replacement of others affiliated with the company's senior officials. This is a clear attempt to enrich themselves at the expense of Somaliland and its people.
GENEL Energy has a vested interest in maintaining a good reputation and relationship with the Somaliland people. By continuing to operate with corrupt practices, the company is damaging its own interests. I urge GENEL Energy to take swift action to investigate, address these issues, and demonstrate its commitment to acting in the best interests of the local population and the company. If GENEL turns a blind eye to the growing local grievances, history might repeat itself leading to events similar to those of 2017 when locals demanded GENEL’s full withdrawal from their land.
As the majority shareholder of the partnership, Taiwan has also a responsibility to ensure that the company operates in an ethical and responsible manner. The corrupt practices of GENEL Energy's representative in Somaliland, Mr. Ibrahim, and its subcontractor, ADCON, pose a serious threat to Somaliland's future, and could also damage Taiwan's reputation.
The following steps should be taken to address this issue:
1. Demand that GENEL Energy take immediate action to investigate the allegations of corruption and take appropriate disciplinary action against any employees found to be involved.
2. Require GENEL Energy to implement measures to ensure that its operations in Somaliland are conducted in a fair and transparent manner.
3. Work with the Somaliland government to ensure that the oil drilling project is carried out in a way that benefits the local community.
If Taiwan also fails to take action, it could be seen as condoning the corrupt practices of GENEL Energy. This would damage Taiwan's reputation and could also lead to economic losses, as companies may be less likely to invest in Somaliland if they believe that the project is corrupt.