By Saikou Suwareh Jabai
Elaborating on how the working and living conditions of public servants would be improved when elected as president of The Gambia, Mr. Halifa Sallah, the PDOIS 2016 Presidential Candidate, reiterated his commitment to restructuring and augmenting their salaries to ensure their productivity as well as guarantee their livelihoods and social security.
Mr. Sallah said this when outlining his policies at the forum he held with stakeholders on Saturday, 23 April, 2016 at the Kairaba Hotel to share their concerns and challenges and reveal his plans on how to address them.
The PDOIS Presidential Candidate said they have the conviction that labour must be rewarded on the basis of the quantity and quality of work done. “This means that we must have a salary commission constituted to look at the quantity and quality of the labur being given by the people in order to properly remunerate them,” he said.
Mr. Sallah said schemes will be introduced to help in reducing expenditure on the maintenance of families by providing services such as staff buses, medical care, housing, etc. for civil servants.
“If elected into office come December 2016, we will engage in serious reforms and restructuring of the entire civil service so as to ensure that people who are working will be able to earn more to be able to work to live rather than live to work to die,” said Mr. Sallah.
The PDOIS Presidential Candidate also told the stakeholders that if elected into office, he will establish a sustainable source of revenue generation for the country and ensure the judicious use of the country’s earnings to promote welfare of the citizens and development of the country.
“Spending D179, 000, 000 between 2010 and 2014 on maintenance of aircraft of the executive is wastage of resources. Spending D111, 000, 000 in two years just for national celebrations is wastage of resources. So in any administration where I am the head, we must ensure that we eliminate all that wastage so that these resources will go into areas that will encourage productivity and better earning capacity of our people,” said Mr. Sallah.
The PDOIS Presidential Candidate said the Gambia cannot rely on taxation alone and that if they take over government, they will immediately disclose all the earnings of the government. He added that the money generated for the people will be rightfully used in order to ensure that it serves them accordingly.
“In the first year you take over, government must ensure that it knows what is available in terms of mineral resources and find the capacity to be able to build infrastructure as well as maintaining services for the people,” he added. This, he said, will be their priority.
The PDOIS Presidential Candidate said they will be creating a sovereign national wealth fund for this purpose.
Mr. Sallah cited examples of Arab countries that are effectively making use of their mineral resources for sustainable development.