Mr. President, last week, Gambians were disappointed to hear that the first offshore exploration has been unsuccessful. The drill that took almost three weeks was without success.
It is indeed sad with the high expectations that Gambians had concerning the drilling of oil and gas in the country but nonetheless, we hope that other opportunities will come our way in another way.
Mr. President, it is indeed high time that your government addresses the transportation problem in The Gambia. The Transport Union together with the authorities involved should intervene as things are getting out of hand.
It is very difficult to have transport in the morning and evening and besides; since the increment in petrol, the drivers have started dividing destinations and thereby charging 3 or 2 times fare for a destination.
Mr. President, your government should waste no time in settling this transport problem because some workers are beginning to lose their jobs because they arrive late to work and others can’t afford paying 3 times the usual fare for a particular destination.
This is an urgent issue that should be treated with urgency. Your government should look into investing in the transport system and deploy the donated buses by the Turkish government to the National Transport Company to help ease the transportation issue in the country. Our transport system particularly in the urban centres is in disarray. Workers would close in the evening and arrive in their homes in the night, not because of distance but because of lack of enough vehicles. Government should employ all means available not to allow our transportation system to be monopolised by private individuals.
Mr. President, tight fiscal measures proposed by your Finance Minister aimed at saving over a billion Dalasis for the Gambian economy is very timely. Temporary freeze on recruitment in the civil service is one of the measures to be taken. It is important to freeze recruitment but necessary and important recruitment can be done.
It is important that qualified and suitable people are given the job when necessary. Retired workers should also be replaced in the system and bring in more productive contributors.
Another measure that should be taken is to reduce the wastage in fuel, travel expenses and the hiring of chartered flights when travelling.
Finally Mr. President, the dalasi is seriously depreciating against all foreign currencies that is leading to the hiking of prices of goods and commodities in the country.
The Central Bank should stablise the foreign currency with the reserve they have and all stakeholders in the business should be called on to work out ways of solving this issue.