Somalia has been trying to revive the public services and the good governance bit by bit since 2000 when the first transitional government led by Abdikasim Salad Hassan was established following years of anarchy.
Despite not succeeded to install the essential public needs, yet the successive governments did their best to provide services though there has been some confusion and mismanagement. The current government has taken steps to root out corruption and mismanagement that engulfed most of the governmental departments.
The commended improvement gained by the current government is steadily ramping up tax collection efforts despite the challenges of doing so in a volatile environment. The government collects revenue from taxes, customs, and fees.
The finance ministry is responsible for collecting taxes from services offered to the public. The tax collection has not been implemented in other parts of the country but is done in the city.
The reason why the tax harmonization did take place in the regions is the confusion caused by the federalism process which has not yet got its process settled.
But the most laudable progress by the government was to ensure that the revenue collected is directed to the right channel and reviving of some agencies to improve its services.
Different offices with messed up tasks
By mentioning the public services, many understand the term as providing health services, access of education and other infrastructure but most of them were yet to be implemented because the government is still struggling to materialize other services including security and justice.
However, in this editorial, we also need to shed light on some few services offered to the public which are substandard. Among those services that the government should improve are meant to access trade licence.
For instance, if a private company is being set up and registered with the ministry of trade, a year later, instead of paying an annual tax, the government registers the same company as the new one with same amount of fees the company paid the previous year. The other notable problem is the lack of business name protection.
For acquiring licence, every company or organization should register with three different government departments.
The organizations operating in Mogadishu should get go-ahead from trade ministry, Mogadishu local government as well as the ministry which monitors operations of that certain private company or organization.
For instance, an organization dealing with farm produce should get license from the trade ministry, Mogadishu local government and ministry for Agriculture. The aforementioned departments which supervise private organizations and companies have their own authoritative powers.
The other concern which the government needs to review well is the registration processes of the private companies whereby names and photos of CEOs or managers of the private companies who might neither be shareholders nor owners are registered against the business name of the companies.
Those individuals are employed and can either resign or be sacked and that will have huge impact on the operations of certain companies as they (companies) will need a new process of registration.
To address the concerns of the private companies on the trade licenses and registration, it is recommendable that the government review the registration process of these companies as to come up with a procedure that goes in line with the international standard.
For instance, the establishment of the National Communications Authority (NCA) in 2018 was a good step taken by the federal government to help regulate the country’s telecommunication sector.
The government also reached tax agreements with airlines and telecom companies. The telecommunication companies will get their license renewed once in every twenty years.
The government should establish an independent committee task to make easy the registration and license issuing of private companies.