Tourism and Culture minister, Hamat Bah, in his clarification about The
Gambia-Saudi Arabia unsigned MoU said that the government of Saudi Arabia who
is investing over $5bn to develop tourism has realised the potential and
importance of The Gambia in different forums that they met and thus approached
for a need to have an MOU.
The minister on Wednesday held an interface press briefing to clarify and explain the rationale behind the MOU which contains 9 articles, saying that anything can be changed from it if the need be within six months of endorsement due to its flexibility.
“The Gambia has well trained people here without job, and ninety percent of hotel staff in Saudi Arabia are non-citizens as they all came from different countries like Kenya, Tanzania, Morocco, Bangledesh, Tunisia, Egypt, India, Pakistan, Philippines.” He said the reason why Gambian cannot be found among these expertises was due to the fact that the Gambia government doesn’t have any contract with them “because (past) government did not negotiate anything to help our citizens to get job there.”
Minister Bah reassured citizens of government’s commitment, saying the government of President Barrow is a “highly responsible government and will never compromise, and what we are doing is to stop the unscrupulous people who are using the ‘back-way’ to take Gambians to the Arab world and enslave them.”
He therefore stated that the only way to stop this “unscrupulous people” is to make sure that there is a legal framework and legal documents that will guide Gambians employee from this country in other countries. Which “this agreement will definitely address and further to that it will also stop back-way which you cannot just stop by mere statement.”
He said it is believed that Gambian citizens under a “contractual agreement” negotiated by Justice and Labour under the Office of the President will have documents that will show Gambian citizens the negotiated term of payment, residence, condition of service while it will be the responsibility of the government to recruit the right people to serve in different capacities in Saudi Arabia.
He said The Gambia is small but mighty outside “as Gambia earns a lot of respect and is committed to whatever doing.”
Being an open government that is well focus without anything to hide, Minister Bah therefore enjoined Gambians to appreciate what Adama Barrow is doing “it is a focus government with commitment which is not comparable to those who have administered the country for twenty-two years that some went to exile and even some killed.”