President, the controversy surrounding the issue of bread in the country should
be dealt with as soon as possible as about 90% of Gambians in the country
consume bread on a daily basis.
Since last week the price of bread has been increased to D8 from D7 by the dealers without government’s approval. Even with the issuing of a press release from the Ministry of Trade, many shop keepers have decided to stop selling bread whilst others keep selling it at D8, meaning that they still did not agree to government’s proposal of maintaining the price at D7 as before.
Mr. President, since December last year, the importation of flour was opened and prices were very competitive with the price of flour at D1000 but now it has been increased to D1450.
Although there is a local milling factory producing flour in the country, other importers should also be allowed to import flour to avoid the monopoly of the flour market.
Mr. President, another issue of concern is still on the waste of financial resources by government officials especially with regard to their travelling expenditures.
It seems like government officials are buying tickets from travelling agencies at very high prices than ordinary citizens buying tickets for the same destination.
Your government is spending too much on travellings, but travelling should be prioritised based on its importance to the nation. It shouldn’t mean that only senior officials should be travelling without benefiting the nation, junior government officials should also be given the chance to travel and be exposed too.
Mr. President, this year’s Hajj fares are exorbitant; D323,000. Whilst in Senegal the fare is 2.6million CFA equivalent to D221,000, the gap is too much and not affordable to many. This will make many Gambians prefer buying tickets in Senegal than here. Very sad!
Officials of the ministry of Works and the
Civil Aviation should meet to see how best to reduce the price of the Hajji air tickets in general to make it affordable by reducing the taxes on tickets, reduce landing fees and fueling of aircrafts.
In Senegal air fares are more reasonable because there is tough competition; many Gambians go there to buy air tickets.
Finally Mr. President, to promote good governance and transparency, all government projects should be tendered and advertised in the newspapers.
For investments, all investors coming to the
Gambia should channel their request through GIEPA.
GIEPA should be given all opportunities to operate with success; there is no need to have a parallel office at the Office of the President.