The minister of Youth and Sports, Henry Gomez has inspired or rather re-inspired a backlash against Barrow’s government for excessive travel expenses and per diem-mongering.
Minster Gomez was slammed for shamelessly attempting to milk taxpayers dry after requesting D277, 494 as per diem for a trip to Azerbaijan and Poland respectively.
Many took to social media to express their shock and disgust against the minister’s demand to be paid such a whopping sum given the fact that the government is broke and running all over the world to beg for money to fix the national budget deficit.
The state minister’s demand to be paid such a whopping sum was leaked online after one Mengeh Jaiteh sent a letter requesting the National Youth Service Scheme to fund the minister’s travel per diems.
Responding to the per diem drama and financial gluttony in Barrow’s government, Sidi Sanneh; a former government minister and retired economist wrote: “These abuses must stop. The country is BROKE and thus can’t least afford such budgetary shenanigans.”
Pa Laity Senghore, a UK- based Gambian added: “We need financial discipline at this period in our national development. Every penny counts. Not sure it's actually in line with the financial approval regulations?”
Weighing in on the per diem saga, political activist Kebba Foon didn’t pretend to mince his words: “A criminal will remain a criminal. Gambia is in big shit.”
While all new governments in Africa from George Weah in Liberia and Julius Maada Bio in Sierra Leone are coming up with measures to plug financial leaks in their governments, Barrow continues to turn a blind eye on financial abuses in his government.