#Editorial

Good Morning Mr. President: On basic commodities, rent & GRA

Jan 17, 2022, 2:05 PM

Mr. President-elect, basic food commodities are no longer affordable by ordinary Gambians. Business people complain about delays in getting their containers at the ports, saying it takes a lot of time before they disembark as a result of the long queue of vessels which also reflects on the price of goods.

Priorities should be given to vessels bringing food items to disembark; GPA and government officials should find a lasting solution to solve this problem which contributes to hiking of prices of basic commodities.
Mr. President-elect, these days there is scarcity of bread – something a lasting and urgent solution must be found to address. The sellers of flour and agents of bakeries should be engaged to address the issue.
Now most of the shopkeepers are selling a loaf of bread at D10 and it’s very difficult to get.
Government should liberalise flour trade, allow importers to do so.

The government’s ban on the importation of flour is not a right decision. There should be an open market and government should not encourage monopoly. Local consumers have the right to decide where they can get their bread. With the open market, the price of flour will go down and the danger of monopoly will vanish.

Mr. President-elect, there is no control in basic food commodities. A 50kg bag of rice which was costing D1250 is now D1350; a packet of biscuit is now from D7 to D10; a cup of sugar has jumped from D10 to D12. Prices of ram and goat meat increased to D350; fish, vegetable oil and palm oil increase on a weekly basis. For fuel increment, we can understand it is dictated by the world market.

Mr. President-elect, many people cannot afford to pay rent in this country now. The landlords use agents to do ungodly things with rents and this is affecting the Gambian people a lot. They do whatever they like because there are no regulatory laws.

Mr. President-elect, you should avoid anything which can make your government unpopular.

Mr. President-elect, kudos to GRA management and staff under the direction of Commissioner General Mr. Yankuba Darboe for a job well done by meeting the government target of 12.8 billion dalasis in 2021;
which would enable the government to pay salaries and use the monies in the right manner – this should include addressing the skyrocketing price of basic commodities in the country.
The government should minimise buying of expensive cars and unnecessary travels and cut fuel expenditures.
The GRA staffs’ and management’s efforts in filling the gap in the National Budget should be motivated. The business people should be commended for paying their taxes. GRA should give awards to big taxpayers every year as a tactic to encourage others to pay tax.
Finally Mr. President-elect, your inauguration is Wednesday 19 January 2022 at the Independence Stadium. We therefore wish you good luck and urge you to select good people with integrity, experience and sound education to serve the country.
You should be mindful of appointments and be sensitive with: religion, tribe and partisanship.
Good day!

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