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Banning Gambia Transport Union not a solution, says Minority Leader

Feb 3, 2016, 10:23 AM | Article By: Njie Baldeh

Hon. Samba Jallow, National Assembly member for Niamina Dankunku, who is also the Minority Leader at the National Assembly, has said the government’s “banning of The Gambia Transport Union is not the solution” to ensure the smooth flow of transportation and trade in the country.

The Minority Leader was referring to the recent banning, by the government through the Trade ministry in Banjul, of the Gambia National Transport Control Association (GNTCA) from any involvement in the transportation sector in the country.

“The Government of The Gambia wishes to inform the general public and all actors in goods transportation that the Gambia National Transport Control Association (GNTCA) is hereby banned from any involvement in the transportation sector in the country,” a recent press release by the Trade ministry stated.

It said all GNTCA structures, controls, systems, tariff (not approved by Government), “are dismantled, dissolved and abolished”.

It also stated that “stakeholders are, therefore, reminded that the Government of The Gambia shall spare no efforts in ensuring that all physical barriers and impediments imposed by non-Governmental agents in the smooth flow of trade within the country are removed”.

According to the Minority leader, who spoke to journalists at a press briefing on Monday in his office, “Government should have guided the union, instead of banning it”.

“The Gambia Transport Union is a registered union; so they have the right to operate and serve the Gambian people,” he stated.

He said members of the union are retired drivers who benefit from garages they operate, because “it is where they get their fish money; therefore, banning the union is a wrong move”.

Hon. Jallow said the Trade ministry “should work to create more job opportunities, rather than reducing employment” by banning the union.

“The Gambia Transport Union is the only union bringing all drivers in the country together, whether you are retired or not,” he said, adding that what government should have done was to thoroughly investigate the issue and “leave the union to operate”.

He recalled that last year, the government closed all lotteries in the country, and “these are institutions that are paying tax into government coffers, which push the economy of the country, as well as reduce the rate of unemployment”.

Hon. Jallow added: “I think government should be the main institution that should create employment for the Gambian people, rather than banning institutions in the country.

“These institutions help government to create more job opportunities for Gambians to survive with their families.

“It is improper for government to ban the union because it would seriously affect majority of Gambians.”