Saturday, September 30

Gambian Economist slams Salary Increment for President, Cabinet Ministers…

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.By:  Kebba Ansu Manneh

Sidi Sanneh, Gambian economist, politician, and diplomat has slammed President Adama Barrow, cabinet ministers, and senior civil servants as untimely, especially against the backdrop of inflation.

He observed that the Gambian government should have only limited itself to the increment of salaries to the low cadre civil servants until when there is a comprehensive restructuring of the civil service.

The former Gambian Minister of Foreign Affairs made this observation with  The Voice Newspaper in an exclusive interview following the Gambian government’s increment in salaries of civil servants including the president, cabinet ministers, and national and assembly members (NAMs).

The new salary increment will see the President Adama Barrow scooping an extra seventy-six thousand dalasi (D76, 000) addition to his two hundred and fifty-five thousand dalasi (D255, 000), it will also witness cabinet ministers and national assembly members receiving an extra fifteen thousand dalasi (D15, 000), while low cadre civil servants will receive nine hundred dalasi (D900).

“The timing of the salary increases, particularly those of the president, cabinet ministers, and senior civil servants could not have come at a worse time when economies around the world are bracing for what could turn out to be a long battle with inflation. It looks like the residual effects of the supply chain backlog will be with us for quite some time because it doesn’t look like the Ukraine war is going to end anytime soon” the former executive director of Africa Development Bank observed.

He added: “We must therefore account for this reality in any economic planning the government will be engaging in going forward. As a limited mitigation measure, to cushion the effects on the most vulnerable current and former civil servants, the salary increase should have been limited to pensioners and those in the lower grade – say grades 1 – 7 and hold off on the rest until there is a comprehensive restructuring of the civil service and inflation is in our rearview mirror.”

The former Gambian Diploma observed that the current global affairs demand sound economic planning and management, noting that residual effects of the COVID-19 pandemic are still being felt across the world as well as the ongoing Russia – Ukraine war that further compounding the inflationary pressures on countries around the world.

He argued that The Gambia and the rest of the African countries are no exception to the current global affairs, noting that African countries that are import-dependent, with agriculture-based economies will be experiencing hardships that will linger well into next year because of persistent shortages of fertilizer, petrol and petroleum products.

“It is my view that the timing is not optimal and therefore expect the matter to be revisited before the end of the fiscal year,” Sidi Sanneh submitted.