Monday, 23 April 2018

Open Letter To Dr. Isatou Touray, Minister Of Trade, Industry, Regional Integration and Employment. (Part.)

Please be reminded that your ministry being responsible for establishing the appropriate setting for private sector development, improving economic growth, trade promotion, and a reduction in poverty. This responsibility are implemented by the creation and application of trade policy and programmes for the growth of trade and execution of policies that will promote commercial production to expand export trade, and the preparation of employment policies, programmes and strategies for the private sector in Gambia.

Furthermore, the recent Budget and Fiscal Policy of the government put before the parliament by your colleague, the Honorable Minister of Finance and Economic Affairs, indeed outlined some strategies to create the enabling environment for business people and the private sector in particular to have confidence in the economy and invest in it with the ultimate aim of job creation specifically the youth.

Be informed that the legal framework, strategies and policy directions around which your prestigious Ministry is going to achieve its goals of ensuring job creation and employment opportunities to deal with the state of joblessness in the new Gambia. You are very aware that The Gambia has a big youthful population, majority of whom are poor, uneducated and are unemployed. Most of these youth have resorted to drug abuse causing high prevalence rate of mental illnesses. The female youth resort to prostitution as a quick way of earning money for a leaving.

Madam Minister, you will agree with me that aside the very good policies of legal and fiscal nature aimed at attracting investments in The Gambia, one of the most challenging issues confronting investors in this country is the issue of land acquisition. The land tenure system in The Gambia is not investment friendly. Previously we have seen needless litigations over landownership which have frustrated prospective investors into this country.

The last time I checked some of the causes of the collapse of cottage industries in The Gambia is the Sole Proprietorship mentality of our entrepreneurs, many of such businesses perish with their owners. To ensure the sustainability and continued operations of indigenous businesses, your Ministry should encourage local business people to pull resources and run their businesses rather than going solo and dying with them in many instances.

In order to make The Gambia the business hub of Africa an educational drive as well as tangible and intangible incentives should be given to potential investors to encourage partnerships in the establishment of small and medium scale businesses. This will not only increase their capital base, but also ensure the growth and expansion of businesses and also the perpetuity of those businesses which will be accessible to The Gambians. It will also be better if people to be engaged with and listened to one another during the entire decision-making process and for negotiations to be based on a genuinely progressive mandate and conducted in a democratically transparent way rather than favoritism.

Be cognizant that when prices rise for energy, food, commodities, and other goods and services, the entire economy is affected. Inflation, impact the cost of living, the cost of doing business, borrowing money, loans, corporate and government bond earnings, and every other aspect of the economy.

Research have made it clear that recession is another virus that affects an economy as when businesses cease to expand, the GDP diminishes for two consecutive quarters, the rate of unemployment rises and housing prices decline. Notably there are others factors too that contribute to an economy's fall into a recession, but the major cause is inflation which is really affecting our economy.

In another note a rise in the rate of Value Added Tax (VAT) would also be a cause of increased domestic inflation in the short term because it increases a firm's production costs. Inflation can also come from external sources, for example a sustained rise in the price of oil or other imported commodities, foodstuffs and beverages. Which need to be managed properly to minimize defect in order to make goods and services affordable to The Gambians.

Moreover if incomes do not increase along with the prices of goods and services, everyone's purchasing power will be effectively reduced, which can in turn lead to a slowing or stagnant, sinking economy. Besides when inflation is too high of course, it is not good for the economy or individuals. Inflation will always reduce the value of money, unless interest rates are higher than inflation. And the higher inflation gets, the less chance there is that savers will see any real return on their money upon investment.

November 27, 2016. You made analysis on the price fluctuation that in (1994 Sugar was D140, 2016 Sugar is D2000). (1994 Rice was D130, 2016 Rice is D1500). (1994 Cement was D40, 2016 Cement is 245). (1994 Flour was D170, 2016 Flour is D3000). (1994 Diesel was liter was D4, 2016 Diesel liter is D45). (1994 Charcoal bag was D20, 2016 Charcoal bag is D240) (Dr. Isatou Touray, 2016).

In conclusion Madam Minister, based on your 2016 price fluctuation analysis I regret to inform you that MOTIRIE under your leadership is the worst The Gambia has ever produced. Probably this have to do with your low understanding and familiarization on how to lead the said Ministry for good.

To be continued………

Saidina Alieu Jarjou
Blogger/Political Activist

No comments:

Post a Comment