#Article (Archive)

Let's Consider All Our Options

May 28, 2008, 5:29 AM

The recent comments made by the celebrated Arabic pioneer Sheikh Oustaz Dumbuya are very welcome indeed. He has called on all businesspeople and those responsible for recent increments in the price of basic commodities to reduce prices. He made his comments in an exclusive interview with The Point. He said it essential that those in business show absolute sympathy to those less fortunate than themselves and the poor in society. "We should be mindful that the rising cost of food and basic commodities will have the most negative impact on poor people," he said. He is correct in what he says but we must bear in mind that the increasing price of food is a global problem and in a lot of cases simply beyond the control of The Gambia's businesspeople. What must not be tolerated is the exploitation of people, particularly those who are suffering the effects of poverty. Anyone who is aware of this kind of behaviour must report those responsible immediately to the authorities who must be swift and decisive in their response.

For this reason we support Sheikh Dumbuya in his appeal to government to set up a task force that would monitor the activities of businesspeople so that there can be a concrete price control system.He said it is shameful to see that fishmongers are now selling three pieces of fish for D100 while one kilogram of meat costs D75 in the market. These prices are fast rising beyond what people can afford and he is absolutely correct in saying that something must be done.

On the issue of foreign currencies depreciating against the Dalasi he said, " the Gambian government has worked tremendously to ensure that the Dalasi appreciated against major currencies therefore businesspeople have no cause to complain.

This is of course correct but the other side to this issue is that the money which flows into this nation in the form of remittances is now worth less to those who are receiving it. This combined with the rising cost of food is causing great suffering to many people and is also something which must be considered when we discuss the issue of exchange rates.

There is no doubt we are facing a crisis and it is very heartening to see intervention by such high profile figures. Only constant discussion and analysis of the problem will lead us to a solution that benefits everyone.


Forex Bureau Rates:

M J Finance 9965635


GBP  =              D39.00

US    =              D19.00

5000CFA =        D235.00

EURO =            D30.50

Swedish Kroner D310

Danish Kroner= D370



GBP   =             D41.00

 US     =             D21.50

5000CFA            D 250.00

EURO                D33.00

Kroner                D340.00

Danish Kroner     D425