Critic says gov’t is bankrupt
By Omar Bah
President Adama Barrow has suspended all foreign travels by officials, including himself, to reduce public spending, a government statement announced Saturday.
According to the statement, the measure covers overseas travels by the president, the vice-president, cabinet ministers, senior government officials, civil servants and employees across all government institutions and agencies for the rest of the fiscal year.
However, meetings where Gambian participation is compulsory and foreign trips entirely financed by external sources will be exempted.
The decision was greeted with great delight with many saying it is long overdue.
However, the UDP’s deputy secretary external affairs and former African Development Bank official, Lamin Manneh, said: “The government had a seven-month bonanza and now they have no more funds. To all intents and purposes, this government is bankrupt. Barrow didn’t do this out of newfound fiscal discipline. The Gambia government is bankrupt, hence their plan to mortgage, privatise and concession out whatever they can. All our income-generating assets are in danger. The Barrow government is urgently and desperately in need of cash. They are currently negotiating another IMF bail-out programme. If they don’t get that, 2024 will be madness.”