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City of Banjul
Wednesday, October 21, 2020

Letters to the Editor

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What with the shifting goalposts?

Dear editor,

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There is no doubt that the former government almost destroyed our economy, and many other things besides. We all saw and agreed that something had to be done. We fought and were victorious. We ushered in a new government and said that we will have a system change. We will put in place policies which will straighten our institutions, improve our economy, reduce youth unemployment and many other lofty objectives.

Well, it turns out that changing all the bad policies which put us in this mess in such a short time is a tall order. But we don’t need to throw in the towel yet; we have to be resilient. It is true that no one can achieve drastic changes without having to do some unpleasant things in the process. That is why we saw – or at least I saw – the introduction of the vehicle policy as an excellent way to begin. Unfortunately, it seems to have been ‘eaten up by the wolves’, at least for now.

This would have been a very good way to save a lot of money which is doubtlessly needed in our current situation. We need to save as much money as possible seeing that the former government almost bankrupted the country before its downfall. So, we would have thought that everyone would be prepared to face the harsh consequences of this and face the unpleasantness of economic adjustment. But, again, we seemed to have been wrong, somewhat.

Another point we might have needed – might still do – is minimizing the other forms of wastage that goes on in our government. For instance, the president’s travels (I am not referring to the numeracy of your foreign trips having repeatedly written and spoken about that already), I am talking about the convoys and pomp that go with it. I was on the road the other day and observed the many vehicles that accompanied Barrow to the airport. The closure of the roads and the fact that many, if not most, high government functionaries have to leave their work and see him off.

If we were able to quantify the amount of money that is lost due to these delays and absence from work of these officials, we would seek to put a stop to it immediately. Barrow’s security, of course, is of paramount importance but it does not have to be with all those vehicles burning all that fuel which all costs a lot of money. We are trying to reduce cost and spending thrice more funds in other areas.

We need to be smarter in the way we spend the taxpayers’ money!

Musa Bah
Nusrat SSS

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