Monday, September 10, 2018

Mr. President, we wish to welcome you back after successfully attending the China-Africa Summit in Beijing and we hope that the three cooperation agreements signed will yield dividends for the country.

Mr. President, for the past months, the Gambian Dalasi has been depreciating against the foreign currencies. This needs urgent attention and an immediate action needs to be taken to stabilise the Dalasi.

Mr. President, the Dalasi is now pegged at D47 to D50 against the Dollar, which is now beginning to have impact on the prices of commodities in the country. The prices of most commodities in the country have been increased due to the depreciating rate of the Dalasi against the foreign currencies.

There is need for the Central Bank of The Gambia to step in and regularise the high exchange rate of the foreign currencies against the Dalasi. The “black market” exchange rate should also be regularised by the Central Bank or else this will have serious effects on the economy of the country.

Mr. President, we will continue to commend the Police for the breakthroughs on arresting several notorious criminals in different parts of the country. Government should do everything possible in assisting and providing support for the Police to continue doing their works excellently.

We appeal to the government to assist the Police with vehicles, motorbikes, mobile phones, helmets, touch-lights and more protective gears with good incentives as most of these criminals are now armed with guns, axes, tear gas etc. to be able to break through people’s homes.

Mr. President, the Police should also introduce emergency numbers for people to contact them as we have now started seeing day-light robbing in the country. All efforts should be done to address the issue of people being monitored in banks and later on followed and robbed. Community policing should also be encouraged as most of these criminals live in the communities.

Mr. President, last week, prisoners of the remand wing held some prison guards hostage in demand to speak to the prison authorities or the Minister of the Interior. As some speculated that the remand wing is full to the brim, which is not healthy for the prisoners.

When you came into power, your government promised to improve the conditions of the prisons especially Mile 2, (the state central prison). We hope your government will take action on this matter especially at this point when the Police are arresting criminals on a daily basis.

Finally Mr. President, the issue of strike is going rampant in the country especially amongst civil servants/parastatals. It’s time that your government finds a permanent solution to this phenomenon and dialogue with the employees as this will affect production in the various sectors of the country.

Your government should revisit the salaries of civil servants come January 2019, and improve their working conditions to improve on their standards of living.

Our strong advice to you is that whenever there is a problem within the government employees in their respective workplaces, there is no need for the security chiefs to intervene. The plight of workers/employees should be handled by the Labour Department or Office of the Ombudsman.

Good day!