May 4, 2020, 1:10 PM

Mr. President, the recent price reduction of fuel in The Gambia is very welcoming as oil price has reduced globally.

Production of oil in Saudi Arabia and Russia increased because they did not agree on price and the coronavirus has also caused a reduction in the demand of oil in the world so the price also dropped drastically from $50 to $20 a barrel.

Mr. President, with last week’s redeployment of permanent secretaries to various ministries, the issue of expertise should have been put in consideration.

Always appoint people in places they know.

For PS Youth and Sports, appoint those with knowledge and passion for sports considering the fact the country is developing in sports as it is important in the world and its business in bringing foreign exchange. There are some PS’s who have spent decade or more in a particular ministry thus moving the person to a ministry that he or she has little knowledge of  could derail national development.

Mr. President, as father of the Nation and during this unforeseen circumstance, it would appropriate for your government to call for a dialogue with all the political parties in the country.

If we can borrow a leaf from your Senegalese colleague Macky Sall, he invited all opposition leaders, human rights activists, trade unionists and media chiefs to take part in discussions on ways of tackling the covid-19 pandemic and other national issues.

Mr. President, as your covid-19 food relief programme items are being taken to all the regions for distribution to the communities, the most vulnerable should be given priorities and everyone treated fairly and in a transparent manner; the money is from the taxpayers.

Mayors, council chairmen and ward councilors should be included in the distribution process; they represent people. They too should not politicise the food distribution process for their own gains as this has nothing to do with politics.

Mr. President, it has been observed that your government has a rift with some municipalities and councils and that is not good for our nation.

Municipalities and councils are very important for grassroot development and no nation can achieve all its domestic development aspirations if these institutions are sidelined.

The central government should work hand-in-glove with councils and municipalities across the country for the sake of national development. We are in difficult times and therefore we must forgo our political differences and work towards a common goal.

Mr. President, the only enemy we all have today is the novel coronavirus (covid-19), and we must unite to fight against it.

Finally Mr. President, we will keep emphasising the need to strengthen our efforts to tighten security at the porous borders to stem the inflow of people from our neighbouring countries. We have to understand that it worth everything to avoid community transmission of covid-19, and in order to avert that, more stringent measures have to be in place. We are in extra ordinary times so we need extra ordinary measures to survive.

Since it’s confirmed that Gambia has all together 17 confirmed cases of covid-19 with the 12th case being imported through a porous border, your government must redouble its efforts to avoid more cases.

Good day!

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