One of his biggest promises after being sworn into office is to protect the national coffers, but it seems President Adama Barrow and his coalition government are doing exactly the opposite.
Most of them have turned themselves into per diem hunters much to the detriment of the already crippled economy by attending countless meetings outside the country.
The Vice President and the Minister of Trade, Industry, Regional Integration and Employment were recently in New York to attend the 62nd Session of the Commission on the Status of Women (CSW 62). The pair was accompanied by 27 civil servants and each of them allegedly received per diem for the days spent in America.
In an interview with The Every Woman’s Neneh Bojang, the country’s vice president said: “The honourable minister of trade and my humble self are responsible people, who can’t be doubted because we stood for our country and we continue to stand for our country. We have no interest to use government resources in a very irresponsible way.”
Scotland-based political activist, Yunus Hydara said it is a universal norm for employees to be paid per-diem when they go on an official trip from home, but in The Gambia, it is being abused as a mechanism to loot the public coffers at the detriment of the country.
“None of these travels have so far translated into elevating the quality of life of an average Gambian which I am sure should be the overall purpose.”
According to Yunus, who is one of the most outspoken young voices on social media, such travels should be curtailed to reduce the pressure they put on taxpayers’ money.
“Take the recent UN meeting, for example, 27 individuals travelled for 14 days costing about eight million Dalasis in per-diems, excluding accommodation and air tickets of the 27 employees plus other members of the delegation on the trip.”
He appealed to the government to avoid prodigal expenditures that could drain the national coffers.