By Tabora Bojang
The Gambia Immigration Department has yesterday disclosed that some 190, 269 Gambians left the shores of the country by land, sea and air in 2022.
Conversely, according to GID, a total of 180, 700 Gambians arrived in the country in the same year under review.
The GID made this disclosure at a press conference called to give an overview of its revenue performance and migration flow in the year 2022.
Also addressing the presser, Chief Superintendent Karalang Jarju, officer commanding statistics, disclosed that 570, 694, persons entered The Gambia in 2022 by land, air and sea while 743, 469 departed the country.
Out of these, Gambian travelers totalled 180, 700 arrivals representing 15.49 percent while 190, 269, Gambians departed the country in 2022 representing 18.87 percent.
OC Jarjue explained that the increase in the number of Gambian leaving the country is as a result of studies, business and search for greener pastures.
Gambian ID Cards issued
OC Jarjue further disclosed that a total of 124, 133 national identity cards have been issued to Gambian citizens for the year under review, compared to 188, 521 ID cards issued in 2021. He said the variance of 64, 388 was as a result for the low demand of identity cards compared to last year when its demand was high due to national elections. He said other cards issued by Immigration are non-Gambian cards, entry visas and clearance, alien cards, permits, machine readable and biometric passports among others.
The Commissioner of Migration Management, Foday Gassama revealed that
14 boats carrying unknown number of Gambian migrants landed in Spain’s Canary Islands last year, and 7 out of these boats departed from the shores of Mauritania, 4 from Senegal while 2 boats departed from the Gambian shores.
He said another boat the whereabouts of which and point of departure remain unknown, is a subject of investigation between the GID and its Senegalese counterparts.
Commissioner Gassama said GID discovered during its investigations that Gambian nationals would now travel by land to Senegal and Mauritania to board these migrant boats, due to what he called strict enforcements of immigration laws in the Gambia.
“In previous years, there used to be a lot of boats that departed the shores of Gambia but because of the current concerted efforts, these numbers have greatly reduced to two. This is a very big success for the GID in terms of enforcement,” Commissioner Gassama said.
He also revealed that over 40, 000 Gambians are estimated to have arrived by sea in Europe between 2014 and 2017 during the peak years of migration crisis in the sub-region.
The GID officials also reported that the department has collected D104M in the year 2022, an impressive sum more than the estimated D98M. The GID said this enviable mark was achieved due to the massive increase in the number of people accessing immigration services over the period. The GID said no amount of this revenue was retained by it as all the monies were paid into the Consolidated Fund at the Central Bank of The Gambia. It also projected a revenue of D150M in the coming year.
They further commended the staff of the sections in the department for diligent work under challenging conditions and parsed the Gambia government through the Ministry of Interior and Finance as well as sister security forces for their support.
The GID reported that even though it is among the highest contributors to the consolidated revenue, it is the least resourced agency under the Ministry of Interior. “As a growing institution the GID requires major budgetary allocation to help it develop its infrastructure to a level that will enable it to improve efficiency and effectiveness in the dynamic world of complex immigration,” the GID officials said.
They said key logistical issues remain lack of enough office accommodation and transportation.