By Oumie Mendy
Momodou Sabally, a former director of budget and member of the opposition UDP, has urged the government to take advantage of the Gambian diaspora expertise.
Addressing delegates at the 5thannual Nordic/Gambia Business Forum in Oslo, Sabally said: “I think the government should double up its effort in supporting and protecting the diaspora given the important role they play in national development.”
He said the money that Gambians in the diaspora are sending back home is more than the foreign financial aid the government is receiving.
“If the Gambia wants its economy to grow and the nation to prosper, whatever endeavour the government is in the diaspora should be part of it,” he said.
He also said the government should do everything humanly possible to engage the European Union to stop the deportation of Gambians.
“So, the government should work hand in glove with the diaspora community because this is in the benefit of all,” he said.
Commenting on the economy, Sabally said the Gambian economy “is not doing well, truth be told.”
He said despite the world economic challenges, the Gambian economy should not have been performing so dismally.
“With gross domestic product estimated at a grocery 4.3 percent for 2021, inflation pegs at 12% according to statistics at the central bank website, monetary policy rate at 11%. That clearly, shows that the Gambia is looking into a negative interest rate. What that does is discourage people from saving and that means low investment from the people. If the government wants the economy to grow, they need to battle economic inflation so we can have a positive interest rate that will motivate people to save and invest in economic growth,” he added.
He also said the appointment of diplomats around the world which costs the Gambia D135 million is a misplacement of priorities.