MOGADISHU, July 11 (Xinhua) -- The Somali government said Tuesday they had reintroduced taxes for both local and foreign companies operating from the Mogadishu International Airport.
Minister of Information, Culture and Tourism Abdirahman Omar Osman said out of the 157 companies operating from the airport only nine currently pay taxes.
"It is only right and proper that these companies, who profit from the situation in Somalia, contribute towards ending the political turmoil of the past and help build a prosperous and peaceful future," Osman said in a statement.
"A taxation task force will be established to negotiate with each company and payments will be back-dated to the start of their presence in Somalia," he said.
The new development signals the government's intention to regulate the activities of foreign companies and raise revenues for the conflict-torn country.
Financial institutions in the Horn of Africa nation including the central bank and the tax collection systems crumbled following the fall of the Siad Barre regime in 1991.
The post-transitional government is gradually reintroducing proper systems for commerce, trade, fiscal policies and agencies to collect taxes and duties.
Osman said these companies provide important support to the UN, the international community and aid agencies, who pay well for these services.
The ministries have been directed to ensure that the firms are fully licenced to operate in the country and that they ensure to employ Somali citizens rather than foreigners.
Oman said a meeting convened last week on taxation measures saw representatives from these companies from security firms to catering companies, express their willingness to pay taxes and inquired about the process and information.
During the meeting, Finance Minister Abdirahman Duale Beileh reassured them that taxation will be handled in accordance with international standards and will be independently monitored to insure transparency and accountability.