Mr President… the Ramadan is just around the corner and many have begun preparations for this sacred, but expensive month. It is clear that when Ramadan comes the daily expenses for Muslims doubles, or should I say triples? This is because their needs increase very much.
It is likely that this year’s Ramadan will even be more expensive if nothing is done to curb the skyrocketing prices of basic commodities. Today, everything is expensive. When one goes to the market with money, one may even think that the money has disappeared because, within a short time, and after buying one or two items, one finds that the money is gone.
I’m not an economist, which means that I have no idea why things are getting costlier everyday; or how to solve the problem for that matter. What I know is that I, like many others, am feeling the financial pinch. It has become a huge burden for family heads among the low income earners like myself to feed our families. This is a serious issue and something ought to be done about it and urgently.
There are a few things which can aggravate the issue of hiking prices, particularly during or a little before Ramadan. The hoarding of goods to create an artificial shortage is one evil practice which is common in the Gambia. This, we have to find a way of stopping. I know it is very difficult for the government to check this, but that is why we keep saying government cannot do everything alone.
It is imperative that Gambians take ownership of our development process and participate fully in the economic and other activities geared towards national progress. The love for the country should be ignited, and a flame of patriotism lit in every heart. Businessmen/women should remember that serving the country honestly will not only benefit other people but they themselves and their loved ones will enjoy the progress of the country.
Furthermore, everyone has friends, relatives, loved ones, confidants and the like. So, if we see someone engage in something that is counterproductive and can affect the economy of the country negatively, we should have the courage to report such activities to the authorities. This is widely used by ordinary citizens all over the world – whistle blowing. It is not only against government that a whistle should be blown. It can, and may also be blown on unscrupulous businessmen/women engaging in hoarding of goods, and other unnatural activities in the economic sector.
Mr President… Government also has a gigantic role to play in ensuring the reduction of prices of basic commodities especially when Ramadan approaches. The Ministry of Finance and Economic Affairs should consult widely and come up with a way to reduce taxes on key items. This will reflect on all other items if done right.
Also, is it feasible for us to have price control so that unscrupulous businessmen and women will not use the desperation of the Gambian people just to make a quick buck? I’m sure the experts can come up with ways and means to ensure that prices go down a little now, and during Ramadan.
You see, Mr President, the Gambian people are eager to see changes in their lives because no matter how democratic your government is, if the cost of living remains high, people will still see your government as a failure. So let the Ministry of Finance and Economic Affairs consult and come up with ways to make life bearable.
Have a Good Day Mr President….
Tha Scribbler Bah
A Sovereign Citizen