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City of Banjul
Thursday, November 26, 2020

Letters to the Editor

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Too much politics, less productivity Now that the UDP Congress is behind us, hopefully Gambians will begin to refocus on the important things Gambia needs. As it is, it’s impossible to overstate the fact we’re a bankrupt nation. If Gambia was a bank or other business, it would be laying off all it’s employees and shutting its doors. Gambia is totally dependent on foreign aid and grants for all it’s public services. So, it’s about time Gambians refocus on productivity so that eventually, we’ll have a viable country. I don’t know how many people notice, but since October 2016, Gambians have constantly been politicking, but not enough of producing for the national good. This is a selfish and retrogressive attitude. I don’t know about anyone else, but the constant politicking is damn boring and getting on my nerves. Finally, and this is important. Apart from dictators, perhaps only in Africa does one find the same person leading a political party for more than ten, twenty or even thirty years. This, in theory, is the same as one person sitting as president for twenty or thirty years. I’d suggest that every party leader be given two terms to win elections, failing which they’d be replaced. This will strenghten party leadership and allow continuiety. Prolonged leadership domination by one person often brings about the demise of that party. When the name of one person is synonymous with any political party, the chances of that party outliving that person are are slim to zero. Something to chew on. By Mathew K. Jallow     Knowhow, means and competence Dear editor, I suppose every citizen of every country would want to live in a decent developed society. Societies that have excellent public services and affordable cost of living standards for the people. A country whose people live in peace and dignity. A country of civilized societies looking after one another. To lead a country and its citizens into economic development and prosperity, a leader must have the knowhow and the means to provide for his/her people live in a civilized country. A leader can have the best of intentions to want to develop his/her country but if he/she doesn’t have the knowhow and the means, it’s almost impossible to make happen the good intentions. Competence is word often used to gauge the ability of a leader in providing his/her people with decent living standards from its available resources and the international alliances it forges to facilitate accessing economic investment for its national development. Quality decisions making and the proper use of the available resources to meet the needs of the people are the hallmarks of competent leadership. In The Gambia, our government is not making the best use of its available resources and the government is not forging the political alliances that will provide it with the means/investment to provide the people with public services and affordable standards of living. Our government is wasting most of its available resources on servicing the national debt and paying the salaries and expenses of the government. Our government is forging political alliances with the wrong partners who do not have the will and means that The Gambia needs for its national economic development. The Gambia Government must reduce the size and the cost of running the government to better put to use its available resources into national development. The Gambia Government must seek much better closer political alliance with China which will lead to securing the means for investment into the economic development and prosperity of the people. For example had our government given the rights for the exploration of oil and gas to the Chinese national oil and gas company against securing an economic investment package of say US$10 billion, The Gambia would have the means to develop its economy and provide the people with decent standards of living. If our government had reduced the number of its ministries, reduce the pay and expenses at the very top of the government and perhaps the president selecting his cabinet ministers from the MPs, the government can afford to introduce a living wage and a basic citizens income in the country which will make life better for every Gambian. The Gambia will not realize any meaningful economic investment from the alliance its forging with France. France is an insolvent country. I don’t know why The Gambia Government gave the exploration of oil and gas rights to an Australian company? And it doesn’t make any sense for our government to continue maintaining the size and the cost of running such a huge bureaucracy called the government at the expense of the much needed socio-economic investment needs of the people. The Gambia has the potential to attain national economic development and prosperity for the people when our government pursues the right political alliances and reform the way available resources are utilised. That’s the competent leadership that is missing from the Barrow government. The Barrow government is pursuing the wrong political alliances for The Gambia internationally and it’s wasting the available resources on the wrong spending priorities- debt servicing and the payment of salaries and expenses of the government. If the Barrow government wants economic development and prosperity for Gambians, it must forge much closer working relations with the Chinese government. China is the engine of global economic investment and development. And The Gambia needs to connect itself to that flow of the Chinese economic investment and development around the world. Yusupha ‘Major’ Bojang Brikama]]>

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