Trade & Employment Ministry Responds to Transport Union Claims

By Louise Jobe

The Ministry of Trade has responded to remarks made by the Gambia Transport, Agricultural, Food and Industrial Workers Union against one Omar Ceesay and members of his transport association, regarding numerous issues.

The Minister of Trade, Regional Integration and Employment, Dr Isatou Touray, on Friday 18th August 2017, made the response before stakeholders during a discussion with them at the conference room of her office. Dr. Touray invited the stakeholder to discuss relevant issues affecting the transport subsector players ie. Unions and Associations.

The two issues of concern are the reduction in transport fares with effect from today and the purported disruption of the economic activities of members of this union by Omar Ceesay and his group and their campaign to ban the union.

Regarding the reduction in fares, Dr Isatou Touray in her remarks said the ministry commenced consultations with all relevant stakeholders in the transport sub-sector since 2016, before agreeing to the reduced transport.

Mr. Ansu Drammeh, Director of Planning said they are disappointed by the president of the Gambia Transport, Agriculture, Food and Industrial Workers Union, Mustapha Jobe, who said the recent announcement of reduction in fares across the country, is not welcomed by the majority of drivers, transport operators and stakeholders of the sector. He said the ministry did not do it alone but invited stakeholders and discussed the matter with them; that the reduction was first pegged at 25% but was reduced to its present rate after their discussion with all stakeholders in the industry.

Mr. Omar Ceesay, acting President of National Transport Union and Mr. Omar Touray, Vice President of the Tippa Garage Association, expressed disappointment with the press release of Mustapha Jobe.