Good Morning Mr. President: Transport, Football & Health

Sep 6, 2021, 1:19 PM

Mr. President, with the looming deadline for a sit down strike which is slated for the 13 September 2021, it’s important to have a dialogue with The Gambia Transport Union

as the public is curious to know whether there have been any progress towards reaching an agreement between the Government and the Union in order to avert any disruption in the transport sub sector.​

The public is also worried about what The Gambia Transport Service Company (GTSC) could do to fill any vacuum created by a shut down by the commercial drivers.

Mr. President, if this strike goes as planned, it would be the second of its kind in a year.​

At this point of our rebuilding New Gambia, strikes can have adverse effect on the rebuilding efforts of our economy amid covid-19 pandemic.​

All these are reasons for the government to do all it can to reach an agreement with these unions.

Mr. President, during this period of inflation due to instability of world economy, it’s is incumbent on the government to set up a Permanent Committee comprising the government, unions, consumers and transport owners with a view to establishing a permanent tariff-structure on the overall transport sub sector including the ferries whereby fuel and spare parts will be the guiding factors in determining fares.

It is important that the government builds the capacity of the GTSC so that they can provide local services to the fullest.

Mr. President, the unions should also be considered in their demands on fares considering the economic situation of the people.

The transport union should also engage the drivers who are over charging commuters. All drivers should have a specific destination and stick to it with the designated fare.​

Mr. President, another issue of concern is the smooth movement of goods and services in the sub region. It is no secret that the re-export trade and the transhipment of goods through The Gambia play an important role in the socio economic development and the wellbeing of the people especially Gambians and Senegalese.

Everything should be done to facilitate unfettered movements of vehicles ​from and to The Gambia through Senegal. It is true that since independence protocols on bilateral cooperation in this regard had been signed; unfortunately drivers and forwarding agents have continued to suffer difficulties at high financial cost in some cases.

It is time that this issue is resolved with ​parties to the protocol respecting them and having the political will for which ECOWAS stands for.​

We hope the government will take all measures to improve the transport (bus) services and also to do everything possible to avert a strike at this moment.

Mr. President, the National Football team – the Scorpions need good and timely preparation and training camps for the AFCON 2022.
It was unfortunate the team had to cancel​ last month’s training in Comoros Island due to financial constraints. However, there is still room for improvement because they have two FiFA window games to be played in October and November.​
Mr. President, as the chief patron of the Football Federation and father of the nation,​we appeal to you to use your​ office for these two trainings to be held successfully.​
Thank God that there is a fund raising committee that might be able to lobby for funds.​

If the team misses these practised games, they might miss their targets.
The government should have a Plan B to harness if the fund raising committee cannot meet the cost of the camps.
Without finance, we cannot achieve results.

Finally Mr. President, your government should have dialogue with the health workers for their allowances to be paid on time.
Strikes are a risk and can be a political suicide for an incumbent since we are in an election year.
A lasting solution with an MOU should be signed to save the population.​

Good day!

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