Somalia: Fiscal Budget and Federal Government legitimacy

By Mohamud M Uluso

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Recently, I came across a document titled “Federal Government of Somalia (FGS) – Appropriation Act for the 2014 Budget,” consisting of Act No 00005 and financial statement. The theme (goals) of the Budget document is “enhancing State capacity for peace, justice, Economic Recovery Program (ERP) and Public financial Management.” Assuming the document is genuine, I’ll summarize below its essential information. In the meantime, it is important to note that the budget, which is based on revenues from Mogadishu Port, Airport, and Bakaraha Market, reflects the curbed legitimacy of the Federal Government.

On August 25, the media reported that the Business Community in Mogadishu Bakaraha Market refused to pay additional exorbitant tax after payment of high custom duty, fees, and other hidden costs at Mogadishu Port and roadblocks. Many Mogadishu residents frequently complain about payments of variety of levies and extortions to operate their businesses or repair damaged buildings.

High tax burden with corruption and extortions exacerbates poverty and prevents economic recovery. The continuous heartbreaking death of Somali youth at Sea and the imminent catastrophic famine reported by UN Humanitarian Coordinator for Somalia Philippe Lazzarini on August 29, both confirm the miserable life condition persisting in Somalia and should jolt the conscience of Somali Elite for real and quick change. Immediate economic improvement of bottom millions of people is crucial for peace, stability, and security.

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