Abdoulie G. Dibba
A staff of Janjanbureh Area Council in the Central River Region (CRR) has disclosed that they have not received their salaries for four months now which is impacting negatively on their livelihoods.
The said member of staff told this reporter that the non-payment of salaries has forced them to become highly indebted in order to sustain their families during this long and difficult period.
This was also confirmed by one of the Ward Councillor’s who added that this lack of income at the end of the month has some implications for them as the representatives of the people. “How would people view us when we go around taking credit from others in order to survive with our families?” he asked, adding “but this is our reality now.”
Members of staff of the municipal and area councils across the country have been complaining about the non-payment of salaries for months now following the announcement of the executive directive which transferred the collection of revenue from them to the Gambia Revenue Authority (GRA) with effect from the 1st April 2015. Apart from market fees, rates and taxes, the GRA is now given the responsibility to be collecting trade licenses, rents from canteens and land transaction fees.
Although the council public relations officers were not forthcoming as to the impact this new development has on their operations, but some observers have noted the scaling down of such services as garbage collection, among others.