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Support the engine of growth

May 15, 2017, 10:35 AM

It has been said over and again that the private sector is the engine of growth. This was also reechoed at the 2017 GCCI Golden Jubilee Business Award Dinner held on Friday 12 May 2017 at the Coco Ocean Spa and Resort.

As emphasised by the keynote speaker on the occasion, no country develops its economy and provides enough employment for its citizens without the full participation of the private sector.

A government governs and puts in place regulations and policies to ensure law and order and a level playing field for all – including the general populace and members of the public and private sectors. It also provides employment but the bigger chunk of job creation is provided by the private sector in addition to its role of promoting economic growth and reducing poverty.

It is therefore widely acknowledged that the private sector is an essential component in the alleviation of poverty since it provides more and different economic opportunities in a country.

In the case of The Gambia we have been made to know that the “100 biggest taxpayers in The Gambia carry more than 80% of government revenue”.

The private sector therefore needs more consideration from the government and regulators, especially in light of taxation, which has been the headache and cry of our businesses ranging from small and medium-scale businesses to companies and firms in the country.

Various taxes on businesses in this country have squeezed many SMEs and entrepreneurs out of business, coupled with other cost of running business in the country like heavy electricity bill.

All these and more need to be revisited to ensure a strong leg businesses in this country can stand on.

The Q-Group chief executive officer outlined some of the challenges businesses in The Gambia are faced with. He said: “There is the challenge of inadequate resources to track expatriating profits out of the country by the big profit generators, absence of financial credit to support small/medium businesses, high interest rate, unreliable and uncompetitive cost of energy and low employment creation capacity in the country.”

It is therefore essential that the Barrow government pays heed to concerns of the private sector, since it is the engine of economic growth in the country.

“No country will prosper without a strong private sector. ”

Muhammed Jah