Gambia: The State of Our Economy

A voice from the diaspora - If recent revelations and commentary on the state of our body-politics is anything to go by, then tightening belts ought to be the word in discourse circles, and the norm for ordinary Gambians facing a rough ride...

A voice from the diaspora – If recent revelations and commentary on the state of our body-politics is anything to go by, then tightening belts ought to be the word in discourse circles, and the norm for ordinary Gambians facing a rough ride ahead. Revisiting the Finance minister’s statement in Banjul after a brief examination of the state of the nation’s coffers, the ‘Barrow government’ came to be confronted with an empty national “safe” looted several feet’s deep by the criminal entity which preceded. The question ordinary Gambians are asking is how come treasury officials kept quiet about the mismanagement & abuse all these years, given a nation of laws under men upright, uptight perhaps.

Yet, still, I find it extraordinary that a Central Bank governor ( and the entire monetary policy committee) that habitually misled the nation on economic output & projections are still in the job. But then again, why is the Gambia Ports MD not in jail, or his scandalous counterpart at Gamtel pertaining to the call termination fiasco fleecing the diaspora out of millions?

The writer encourage Gambians to question the millionaire lifestyles such crooks led right through into the multimillion dalasi mansions they habituate, to be cross-checked with their salaries – a red-flag right there! This is in no way meant as a witch-hunt, nor a work of fictitious tale. Rather, the strategy aim to analyse & provoke-thought amongst the masses enlightening in the process where so.

Speaking to a civil servant recently at GRA, the level of corruption detailed at the top astounds resulting in a near skip-beat of the heart. I came to learn that such revelations are just the tip of the iceberg, hence every public institution scratched unearths unethical spineless beings who had siphoned vast public wealth with no regard for the long suffering masses. Gambia, we have a problem. Greed has come to infest the Gambian psyche with mind set on money its preoccupation. Yes, it is only natural for one to desire the good life and all its trimmings, that, however, should be occasioned through lawful means without dipping ‘filthy’ hands into the public purse.

To the Banjul hierarchy & and its various ministerial departments – Democracy, but in name is unsustainable, nor acceptable for a new breed of young Gambian intellectuals; judging your tenures through actions & deeds. And that requires a strengthened judicial instrument in crime & punishment as the bedrock of our democratic dispensation in deterring would-be thieves.

My challenge to the Labour department in Banjul – set the unemployment rate & start producing monthly job numbers. That is the barometer on which ‘President-Barrow and his government’ shall be measured by. I further call on the government to audaciously demand total debt cancellation the nation found itself in. A 107% GDP-debt ratio is unpayable for any government – necessitating urgent dialogue with the IMF, World Bank, and all international players concerned to wipe it off. Without this, the country shall never attain its sustainable development goals target.

Gibril Saine, London.

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