Jan 2, 2013, 9:33 AM
President, as the year 2019 is coming to an end, we would like to bring to your
attention, some of the difficulties Gambians face when it comes to visa issues
of some countries.
It is time your government does everything possible to engage Schenghen countries like France, Germany, Spain, Italy about their visas applications procedures for genuine Gambians travelling to these countries either on private or official business.
There is public outcry regarding the unfavourable treatment and the discomfort meted on Gambian applicants who wish to travel to these countries.
Mr. President, it’s too sad that when Gambians want to travel to these countries, they must travel to Senegal for their visa processing and most of the time even with their necessary travelling documents like financial resources with proof of bank statement, insurance, letter of invitation yet they are being refused visas on frivoulous grounds.
Mr. President, sources have revealed that The French Embassy in Dakar this year turned down many Gambian officials’ visa applications, who were supposed to attend conferences in Paris.
Furthermore, these applicants have no access to these embassies’ consular sections in Dakar to enable them defend their applications as most embassies used visa application centers and their response procedures are slow.
Mr. President, the Minister of Foreign Affairs has to seriously engage these countries’ embassies to either have their consular in Banjul to ease the travelling expenses and discomfort to Senegal just to process visa applications or those countries who can’t have their consular in the Gambia but based in Dakar to be also engaged to redress the situation, especially to these Gambians especially government officials, students and business people who have to use their own resources, waste time go to Senegal to process their application just to be rejected at the last minute without genuine reasons. The Chinese Embassy should open a visa section here in Banjul to facilitate Gambians going to China.
Mr. President, we say a big kudos to GRA for exceeding government’s target this year of 10.7 billion dalasis.
The Commissioner General Yankuba Darboe and his staff should be commended for a job well done in boosting the economy. They should also be motivated to encourage them put in more efforts next time.
Government can use the money realised to fund more development projects in the areas of health, Education and construction of better roads whilst minimising the unnecessary travels, limit fuel expenditure and buy less luxury cars.
All businessmen should always pay their taxes without segregation, and no preferential treatment.
Finally Mr. President, we wish you, your family, members of your government and the residents of The Gambia a very happy and joyous New Year 2020 in advance.