GOOD MORNING MR PRESIDENT: Plight of Civil Servants

Monday, November 20, 2017

Mr. President,

Civil servants in the country should also be considered in the New Gambia. Civil servants should be motivated in terms of salary increment, housing schemes, transport allowances etc. Salaries of some civil servants are very poor and can only buy a bag of rice. This is pathetic and it’s time to graduate from that status quo.

Mr. President, your government should look into investing in Housing Schemes with low rental fees to help civil servants who can’t afford high rental payments. These houses can be paid for a period of time and later owned by the occupant.

In the 1970s and 1980s, civil servants were given facilitates like houses under Social and Housing Security which they paid for a number of years and later become owners of those buildings. The last time salaries were increased for the civil servants was January 2010, with only 20%. Other facilities like cars, fridges etc. were also given as loans and deducted from their salaries.

Mr. President, appointments in ministerial posts, civil services and government offices should be based on qualifications, efficiency and not friendship or political affiliation.  Any minister sacked should be replaced within 48 hours after passable screening.  The post of Ministry of the Interior should be filled without delay, since it’s a key ministry.

Mr. President, without leniency, any senior government official, minister, and heads of parastatals who do not perform as expected should be sacked without delay. Sacking or dismissal of ministers should be based on sound judgment and very serious breach of oath of office and if possible to shed lights on the reasons of the sacking.

Mr. President, Yahya Jammeh was a dictator, who wanted to appear as a benevolent ruler. He therefore used and misused a self-concocted system of hiring, firing, redeploying and re-cycling ministers based on his whims and caprices. It was his personal style of “musical chairs” aimed at exercising authoritarian command and control, and diverting public attention from his nefarious activities. It is also of grave concern, that you have adopted Yahya Jammeh’s favourite choice, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs as the place to deploy a dismissed minister as ambassador. We urge you not to make our foreign service as a dumping ground for renegade officials. Our foreign service like those in other countries is the mirror and our link to the outside world. It should be staffed with men and women of the highest caliber in diplomacy, impeccable integrity and honesty.

Mr. President, you have to appoint good advisers in every ministry who can make follow up of correspondence of different friendly countries and international organisations as many occasions government officials delay correspondence unnecessarily.

Mr. President, the issue of the 3000 ghost workers uncovered, among them 2000 security personnel is still pending, what are the measures government is taking to tackle such not to repeat again.

Good day Mr. President.