Businessmen threaten to boycott use of Mogadishu’s seaport
Mogadishu (Harar24) – Somali businessmen involved in car trading and importing vehicles into Somalia have threatened to stop using Mogadishu’s seaport and boycott it, due to the levying of high taxes imposed by the government.
A spokesman for the union of car dealers, Mohidin Gudlawe, said that they are on the verge of boycotting the seaport of Mogadishu for importing cars, due to the heavy taxes levied on them by the Ministry of Finance, while simultaneously they get charged even more by illegal checkpoints after they leave the seaport.
“The Ministry of Finance places unbearable taxes on us when importing cars, and as soon as we leave the premises of the seaport we get extorted at illegal checkpoints, on top of that other departments of the government charge us too, each based on their own claims” said Mohidin Gudlawe. “If this continues we have no choice but to stop using Mogadishu’s seaport and resort to using other seaports in the country, such as those in Kismayo, Bosaso and Berbera, which are much cheaper” he added, while requesting the President and Prime Minister to help solve this problem.
However, Abdulahi Mohamed Nur, a spokesman for the Ministry of Finance, denied the claims of imposing heavy taxes on imported cars, adding that the taxes are only used to improve and help re-build the country. He brushed aside the claims of the businessmen claiming that they just wanted to avoid taxes, in essence insinuating that they’re preventing money from re-building the country.
Although Somalia suffered of civil war more than two decades, however businesses were one of the few things that were thriving in the country despite the rubble and chaos. Businessmen claim that they’d always been paying taxes to whoever was in charge of the seaport and checkpoints, however the current taxes have surpassed the limits of all previous taxes, according to them.