The Gambia as we were told inherited a very poor economy from the old regime and that was all the more reason why the government cannot increase salaries. The Ministry of Finance once told a group of parliamentarians that the government has to fix the economy first in order to make meaningful salary increment. The argument is that salary increment of 6-10 per cent will mean little for low salary earners which make lot of sense.
But it beats the imagination of the Daily News that the board of governors of Central Bank have increased allowances for the staff of the Central Bank of the Gambia and picking on the bank’s governor whose allowance of per diem is increased from £250 to £600.
This was agreed on the 30th of January 2018 in a board meeting and that it should take effect from the 1st of January 2018.
The Daily News was able to get information that the allowances of the Vice President currently stands between £300 to £350. If going by the allowances of the Vice president which is less than £400 one would assume that the President who is the number one employee of the Gambians cannot double that of the Vice present, so why then can the Governor of the Central Bank of the Gambia go up to £600?
Whiles the top staff had their allowances increased by 140%, the junior staff like drivers only have a 25% increment.
Should the government not look into the salaries and allowances of some institutions and departments as extension of government? At this moment if we want to fix the economy of the country so that life can be better for all, then we need to discipline ourselves.
The Daily News is not against increment of allowances and salaries of people who are working in our various sectors. But what is our concern is the 140% increment for the top staff; whiles the junior ones got only 25%. For us such a hike in favour of top staff of the Central Bank of the Gambia is considered financial indiscipline.
It is considered financial indiscipline for the simple reason that an average Gambian employee cannot earn this one day per diem of the top staff of the Central Bank of the Gambia in a year. Take a newly qualified teacher or any other civil servant most of who earns less than D4000/6000 per month for example, whiles £600 with the exchange rate at D60 will be D36, 000 for just a single day.
The government should take a close look at the salary and allowance structures of civil servants on the pay roll of the state. Daily News is calling for financial discipline in all sectors of government and the parastatals.
If the minister and his team really want to fix the rotten economy of the country then it has to start with ourselves.
How can we fix such a rotten economy that was punctuated with lots of financial indiscipline as the Janneh Commission reveals; then such proposals have to be seriously looked into before approval from the board of governors of the Central bank of the Gambia?