Jun 9, 2009, 7:19 AM
The move by the Directorate of the National Treasury urging civil servants within the Greater Banjul area, from grade 2 and above, to open a salary bank account through which their salaries will be paid, is indeed a good move.
It has enormous benefits for the country’s blossoming financial sector, and the national economy overall.
In fact, in some of our neighbouring countries, it is illegal to be paid “over the counter”; since the rule is that, for workers in both the public and private sector, the employer must pay his or her salary into a bank account, and all such transactions must be conducted or payments received through the banks.
Of course, this has a lot of advantages for all concerned, whether it is a bank, the workers, or the government and companies or NGOs which employ workers.
It is also our belief that the new move would help eradicate “ghost workers” - people who draw salaries, but never report for work, from the state payroll.
In some countries, the governments are reportedly losing millions through payments to ghost workers.
Payment of wages through banks will also facilitate the clampdown on fraudsters in government departments, in keeping with the ongoing anti-corruption campaign, as manifested in the slogan: “A Definitive No to Corruption and drugs”.
However, in the DNT press release, it was noticed that no deadline for opening of a salary account was mentioned, and nothing was said as to what sanctions are there for non compliance.
Also, we feel the facility should be available to those civil servants in the rural areas, who are above grade 2 and might be willing to join the new initiative.
We want to also urge the government to extend the service to the civil servants in the regions, because now most of the regions have banks, and so life would be easy for everyone.
In our view, this development if properly implemented will greatly help both government and the civil servants.
Another good thing about this new move is that it makes the work of the Directorate of the National Treasury easier, and would make the system more transparent and accountable.
It will also make service delivery more efficient and effective.
Moreover, with this new system, civil servants have a lot to benefit from, since they can have access to loan facilities from the banks, among others.
We call on all the civil servants to adhere to the new system, and give their bank details to the office accountants.