The Ministry of Trade, Industry, Regional Integration and Employment on Wednesday, 5 October, 2016, at the Paradise Suites Hotel held one day consultative meeting with the business community on the new dispensation of the expatriate quota system.
In delivering her keynote address, Mrs. Naffie Barry, Permanent Secretary MOTIE, said since the ministerial responsibility was transferred to them, they felt it necessary to form a team that would effectively support the process and the implementation of the Expatriate Quota System.
The team, she said, developed Guidelines for the Management and Administration of the Expatriate Quota System which provides for structures detailing out an entire system for its effective management and coordination.
She said the Gambia offers an attractive investment climate and a rich and diverse natural resource base.
PS Barry said it is important for both local and foreign investors looking to the Gambia to expand their footprints to know and understand the issues and challenges of the Gambian business environment, from a labour and employment law standpoint.
“I therefore urge all employers/employees to acquaint themselves with the Labour Act 2007 and the Pay Roll Act,” she said.
PS Barry pointed out that institutions, companies and or businesses intending to recruit expatriate employees should endeavour to prepare succession plans for local employees to learn through mentoring and coaching.
She further noted that this would enhance their skills and prepares them adequately for future engagements and that this can be done through effective training programmes to equip local employees with the required skills and efficiency.
In order to ensure expatriate employees enjoy an atmosphere of effective working conditions, she said, companies and or institutions are encouraged to ensure that their expatriate employees apply for the correct immigration permits, to allow them the peace of mind of working as freely as possible.
She noted that the Government of the Gambia encourages a holistic and comprehensive approach to ensure that investors yield the benefits of their investment through productive workforce, and that calls for active involvement of all stakeholders.
“In order to encourage more investment and employment opportunities, and encourage harmonious industrial relations, the Ministry of Trade, Industry, Regional Integration and Employment is in the process of drafting an Expatriate Quota Bill and Regulation,” disclosed PS Barry.
She concluded that it is hoped that the Act will aid Government’s efforts to increase the employment of Gambians while maintaining an investment friendly climate, adding that it is also expected that the new Act would encourage the hiring of locals staff that are adequately trained by the expatriate employees.
After the key note address, the following presentations were made on the ‘Key elements in the Pay roll Tax Act’ and Tax Compliance for National Development by Zainab Jawara Alami; the New dispensation on the Expatriate Quota System and the way forward by Mamadi Dampha; Issuance of the work permit and Employment of Expatriate Staff by Superintendent Sana Marena and Terms and Conditions of Employment by Lamin Y. Bojang.