Defunct GPTC Staff ‘s 17 Million Dalasis Claim

By Alhagie Sora

The former staff of the Gambia Public Transport Corporation (GPTC) have renewed their call for payment of 17 million dalasis GPTC buswhich they say is the sum total of their Social Security Benefit.

Representatives of the former staff say for almost three years they have been pursuing their claim without any end at sight.

This they say had plunged them into a state of indebtedness, exposing them to social and psychological trauma in the society.

They say they have delivered letters to eight (8) relevant authorities as a reminder for the payment of their social security benefits hoping that their problem will be addressed in accordance with the law but to no avail. They added that whenever they go to the Social Security and Housing Finance Corporation (SSHFC), they are told that they are waiting for the government to pay its part which should be facilitated by the Ministry of Finance and Economic Affairs.

They claim that the letter of reminder was written on 8 October and delivered on the 12th October 2015 at the offices of the said authorities.

In renewing their call to address their claims, the representatives appealed to the president to intervene in the matter as their claim is long overdue. “We have the belief that the president of the republic is not probably aware of the non settlement of our said benefits, this was why we also wrote to the VP and Minister for Presidential Affairs.”

The distraught middle age man was almost in tears while explaining the domestic problems many of them are having since the closure. “A good number of us have not been employed for three years now and taking care of family matters is a nightmare.

It could be recalled that the said former employees were claiming for both their SSHFC benefits and the Six months notice when the corporation was abruptly closed. Payment of six months notice was settled some time in 2014.

When SSHFC was approached on the matter, the public relations officer referred this reporter to the desk officer on this issue at the Ministry of Works, Construction and Infrastructure.

The desk officer at the Ministry of Works, Construction and Infrastructure was approached but he declined to comment on the matter. He referred this reporter to the Permanent Secretary stating that he is not mandated to comment on the matter.

Unsuccessful attempts were made to sound the official version of the Permanent Secretary of both Works and Finance.

Meanwhile the deplorable plight of the former employees continue unabated without them knowing what is holding the payment of their social security benefits and how soon they will be paid their entitlements.