By Omar Wally
The permanent secretary at the Ministry of the Interior, has denied allegations that they have already revoked the licences of twelve private security companies operating in the country for not meeting the required standards.
Bulli Dibba, made these remarks yesterday, at the Kairaba Beach Hotel, during an exclusive interview with The Fatu Network, on the sidelines of private security companies stakeholders workshop.
“What we did was, send them closure notices, because most of them are in default for two to three years. Some are operating in their living rooms, while others cannot be identified.”
He said the closure notice is for them to either comply or their institutions be closed. But that is not the objective, he added, saying the ministry wants them to comply with payment of Social Security contributions for their staff.
Dibba said the deadline for them to comply is today, adding that a board has been established and in the event of a failure to comply, the board will act. “But already we have seen some signs of compliance; some companies are coming forward making their payments and their contribution to Social Security.”
Dibba added: “Even if they can do payment plans with Gambia Revenue Authority and Social Security that is better, we just cannot have companies operating illegally for three years without meeting the requirements.”
The Interior permanent secretary disclosed that G4S is the most recognised private security firm in terms of meeting set standards and compliance.
“The Gambia currently has 17 private security companies, with two classified as ghost companies and out of the fifteen, only five are in full compliance having met Gambia Revenue Authority, Social Security requirements and the labour laws.”
“G4S is leading in all categories. These include the way they portray their personnel wellbeing and making sure all their contributions are paid on time.” He said most of the companies are operating without licence.
“Every year they need to renew their registration and some of them are not complying. You cannot hire people and at the end of their retirement they go to Social Security and realise that there is no contribution on their behalf,” he lamented.
He said that is why they are trying to reorganise the sector, making the owners aware of some of their deficiencies. “If you are talking about national security, we cannot leave the private security out of it,” he said.