By Omar Bah
The Gambian Consul in the UK, Suntou Touray, has commended the government’s proposed salary increment, saying it would help minimise corruption.
The proposed revision was announced in a dispatch last week by the government but critics said it is nothing but a political gimmick in an election year.
But Touray said the plan demonstrates that government is on a right footing because countries which are able to successfully minimise corruption are not merely strict, they pay very good salaries adding that people should stop associating “every significant progress or policy announcement government made to politics”.
He said the best strategy to be tough on corruption is to first provide incentives for public servants.
“That is the best way to close down all windows of corruption. We call on all public servants to redouble their efforts and dedicate time and energy to making the Gambia a country of envy in our sub-region. This government deserves to be commended in terms of the significant improvement they are able to make in terms of creating good wages for public servants. Even if there is a political element in what they do, the benefits outweigh the political elements,” he added.
He said low salaries create lots of social problems which lead to poor service delivery because when people are not well paid, they will go to work late and leave early to exploit other avenues.
“It is not a political gesture alone to pay workers good wages, it is about valuing their contribution and improving their living conditions so that they can focus on the everyday task and duty assigned to them,” he said.
Mr Touray said the president is “thinking in the right direction and should be commended. He has the political will in showing interest in the welfare of public servants. Democracy goes beyond tolerance alone as amply demonstrated by President Barrow. He is caricatured, mocked and sometimes personally attacked, yet he remains restrained and allowing due process to take its course,” he said.
This story initially came with a wrong picture. We apologise for the error