GOOD MORNING MR PRESIDENT: Delay in acquiring I.D Cards, Driver’s Licence, GTSC buses!

Jul 8, 2024, 11:09 AM

Mr President, identification documents are crucial for the daily operations of Gambians. The prompt issuance of essential documents like ID cards, driver’s licences, and alien cards is vital for making life easier. 
Mr President, many people have faced long waits due to non-operational systems at various document printing locations. It's time to begin processing these documents, considering their importance to the citizens.

Mr President, the issuance of these documents doesn’t only provide its citizens with a proof of identity, but also allows people to move freely in and out of the country.   

Mr President, it is disheartening to inform you that the issuance of vital documents has been on hold for several months. Furthermore, individuals urgently needing these documents are only provided with receipts when they visit the Gambia Immigration Department (GID), which are insufficient for important transactions or cross-border travel. 

Your government should treat this issue with urgency, as an increasing number of people, particularly those intending to travel or renew their documents, are still waiting for the process to begin.


Mr President, in 2018 The Gambia government awarded the processing of the country’s national identity cards to a Belgian company, Semlex, after months of delay. This Belgian company has been in charge of producing the country’s biometric I.D Cards since then. What happened to the agreement with Semlex that caused the delay in processing these vital documents? 

Mr President, people are paying for these identification documents, but instead of receiving the actual IDs, they are only given receipts. These receipts are inadequate as they cannot be used for official identification purposes, and receipts can easily be replicated. This situation is problematic because proper identification documents, such as ID cards, driver’s licences, and alien cards, are essential for various activities, including travel, banking, and accessing government services. Without these documents, individuals face significant difficulties in their daily lives, as receipts do not serve the same function or hold the same legal recognition as proper identification. Therefore, it is crucial that the authorities expedite the issuance process and provide people with the actual identification documents they need.

Mr President, the people deserve an explanation for the prolonged wait in the issuance of these documents, as many have waited for months without any clear justification provided to them. This lack of transparency and communication has left individuals frustrated and uncertain about when they will receive their essential identification documents. Clarity on the reasons behind these delays is necessary to restore confidence and trust in the process.

Issue of transportation 

Mr President, having an efficient and effective transport system is an integral component in any development endeavour.  It was in this light that sometime in April 2023, you inaugurated seventy (70) new buses of GTSC for use in urban, rural Gambia and Dakar.

This is part of your government’s broader objective in making transportation convenient for every Gambian. It is also anticipated that the addition of this new fleet would help upgrade and boost the country’s public transport system.  

The aim of this fleet of buses was to enhance the national public transportation service and support the National Development Agenda of creating a well-organised, effective, and affordable national public transportation network.

This lofty ambitious target is what every government desires for its people. However, it appears these goals are far from being achieved as commuters in the urban area continue to face transport challenges with no end in sight.

Mr President, it is important to note that the demand for transportation needs in both urban and rural Gambia is increasing daily. Despite this development, it is concerning that there are only a few buses operating on the roads. This not only creates a significant gap in the country's transportation system but also raises questions about the government's ability to maintain and sustain the resources it has provided. 

We therefore call on government to work towards ensuring access to modern transportation connectivity. This is because more and more commuters are turning to commercial vehicles, which often charge high fares for transportation to work. Usually, commuters have to pay three different fares for a single trip.

Despite receiving low transport allowances, dedicated civil servants persistently make sacrifices to commute to their workplaces. This financial challenge forces them to navigate the high costs of transportation, often paying multiple fares for a single journey. Their commitment to fulfilling their duties underscores their resilience and dedication to public service, despite the financial hardships they encounter.

Good day!