Re: CBG governor explains reasons for price hikes
The CBG Governor has confirmed what I predicted more than two years ago: that a government that has eschewed fiscal discipline will ultimately cause macroeconomic instability with a devastating effect on the lives of poor Gambians. With consumer price inflation in food and non-alcoholic beverages accelerating to 8.97 for the month of October 2021; the Governor has virtually admitted that this government has wreaked havoc on our economy. The Governor himself is even warning us about “heightened inflation expectations next month” this is a clear testimony that Gambians will be facing serious economic hardship in the near future. It is however laughable that he attributed the price hikes to structural constraints at the ports, telling us that his institution cannot do anything about our current economic realities. This is totally disingenuous. The port has been here for decades so the structural constraints at the ports are nothing new. What is causing this economic malaise, apart from the excessive tax burden; is unrestrained wasteful expenditure by this government financed with heavy domestic borrowing that has sent our total domestic debt stock to unsustained levels with additional borrowing of almost D3 billion during the past year alone. This same Governor is aiding and abetting the Finance Ministry instead of restraining them through prudent monetary policy. He is on the record on the front page of the Standard saying the Central Bank has reduced reserve requirement ratios and concomitantly urging commercial banks to lend to government for projects in this very political cycle.
The real reasons for this high inflation are irresponsible fiscal policy by the Finance Ministry, aided and abetted by the Central Bank.
Former director of budget
Tribal incitement has no place in Gambia
To maintain my integrity and in line with my desire not to drift into party policies, I have largely restrained from giving direct comments on the ongoing Gambia election campaign ahead of the decisive presidential election on December 4th. However, Dembo Bojang’s obnoxious tribal comments made in public are an insult to every Gambian citizen regardless of race, language or religion, and represent a threat to security and peace in the country.
In a public speech in the framework of the ongoing election campaigns in the country, Mr. Bojang, the presidential advisor for religious and culture, warned, in a clear attempt to crowd votes for his party, non-Mandinka citizens that they will have to pack their enjoyment and return to their origins if President Barrow is not in power. The truth remains that other parties include officials and supporters of all tribes; thus the statement of the presidential adviser is far from reality. Ironically, Mr. Bojang was the national president of the party he was warning before he changed to declare his allegiance to President Barrow!
Gambia, for centuries, is famous for peaceful coexistence of different ethnic, tribal and religious groups, where mixed marriage spreads between different ethnic groups.
The inciting of tribal scourge to achieve political gains comes with opposite consequences. Ask Jammeh what happened to him in 2016 after his unjustified racist attack against Mandinka.
As an elderly statesman, Mr. Bojang should preach peace instead of inciting tribalism which is the last thing our country needs at this crucial stage in its history.
All peace-loving Gambians should strongly condemn Mr. Bojang’s comments to avoid civil war in our small country. If he has nothing to contribute or offer, I highly recommend him to resign from politics.
President Barrow and his party should also issue a statement owing to these statements, otherwise, the cost could be too high.
Basidia M Drammeh