Yonas Biru, PhD
First, let us make one thing clear. Though Oromummaa means “Oromoness”, the term has been hijacked by criminal thugs and intellectual savages who have made robbing Ethiopia and institutionalizing mass murder, forced displacement and industrial level demolition of Churches and Mosques as an Oromo ideology and political theology. Professor Asafa Jalata defines Oromummaa as a political project. Anyone who has read the good professor’s articles and listened to Shimelis Abdissa’s public speeches about Oromummaa cannot deny this.
The Oromummaa overlords have their eyes on the Ethiopian Airlines. Last month, I published two short blogs about the Ethiopian Airlines under the title “The Reason Behind Ato Girma Wake’s Termination.” In summary this was what I wrote.
“Two months ago, I predicted one potential source of foreign exchange to finance the PM’s Palace is taking loans from China collateralizing the Ethiopian Airlines. Two days ago, I speculated the reason behind Ato Girma’s termination is to transfer foreign exchange from the Ethiopian Airlines to the palace. Today, I learned the PM is in discussion with China to let them take over the Cargo business of the Ethiopian Airlines until Ethiopia pays its debt.”
Recently, I was with a friend at the Starbucks when he got a call from Addis Ababa. With his permission my friend put the call on speaker so I can talk to the person. The person took the opportunity to correct my blog about Ethiopian Airlines. Here is how he put it.
The Airlines’ Cargo business is run separately. What the Prime Minister has done is instructing the Airlines to use the profit from the Cargo business to pay Chinese contractors building the new palace along with its opulent surroundings. This is not far from what I wrote about how China does its business in Africa. They take collateral be it an airport (Zambia), a seaport (Kenya) or a minefield (Angola). Ethiopia does not have minefields other than goldmines that produce about $1 billion per year in a good year
Let us do the math. The palace is estimated to cost $15.3 billion. In most cases, construction projects cost far more than the original estimates. Let us say it will cost 25% to 50% more than the estimate. This is a modest projection. It can be more. This amounts to $19 billion to $23 billion.
If China is building the Palace and say China’s contract accounts for 75% of the total cost, this comes to or $14.3 billion to $17.3 billion. Let us say the profit the Cargo business produces is $2 billion per year. Let us also assume it takes China five years to build the palace. China will effectively hold the Cargo business from 7 to 9 years as a collateral until it is paid fully. If the Airlines business produces only $1 billion profit per year, that means 14 to 18 years. The longer it takes to pay, the more the interest rate component of the cost skyrockets. That means it can go beyond 14 to 18 years.
There is another story. The airline is interested in building a separate terminal for its business. How is it decided where this terminal should be? In a federalist system, this is done through competition. Each tribal homeland will be asked to submit a bid. Say Somali may say I will give the land for free and build infrastructures such as roads and electricity. The Amhara tribal land may say Debre Berhan is central to all regions and besides it will give free land and build infrastructure. The benefits for these homelands include job creation and tax revenues.
But this is not how it is done. The opportunity is exclusively given to the Oromo tribal land and Shimelis Abdissa is demanding billions in payment for the land. This is Oromummaa’s Predatory Greed and Gangsterism.
Can the Airline deny, the Cargo revenue is not and will not be used for the construction of the palace? Can it deny it is being asked to pay billions to build a terminal for the cargo business? Why should the airline pay billions for Oromo when other regions can potentially offer it free land with additional incentives?