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Saturday, April 20, 2024
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The rising cost of living

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Many countries in the world, The Gambia included, are grappling with rising cost of living. Prices of basic commodities have increased manifold in the past few years. This trend seems to be increasing on a weekly basis.

The worst part of this problem is that it is the prices of food items that seem to be increasing the most. Daily consumables like rice, oil, sugar, onions and other food items have gone up and many Gambians are feeling the pinch. It has become almost impossible for poor families to have the standard three meals a day.

This is compounded by the fact that some businessmen and women use the desperation of the people to increase prices at will. One will buy a commodity for a price one day and by the following day the price would increase by many dalasis. When confronted, the traders would say they had to increase prices to meet their profit mark-ups as the importers are hiking prices blaming the depreciation of the dalasi.

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We are aware of the efforts that the Central Bank of The Gambia under Governor Buah Saidy, the Ministry of Trade under Baboucarr Joof and the Ministry of Finance and Economic Affairs under Seedy Keita are making to arrest the situation. The president himself has recently tasked these gentlemen to find answers to these bread and butter issues. We appreciate the fact that some of the causes of the high cost of living are extraneous. While long term plans and strategies are being considered, immediate solutions have to be found one way or the other. The masses are suffering.

The government should continue to work with The Gambia Chamber of Commerce and Industry and all other relevant stakeholders to ensure that the country attains food security and that prices of basic goods and commodities are kept in check. Governments have a lot of means at their disposal to square circles.

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