As threats of Major Economic collapse grips Gambia-President Jammeh threatens the business Community!!
As threats of Major Economic collapse grips Gambia-President Jammeh threatens the business Community!!

Jammeh says private businesses who fail to extend helping hands to his aids cure fund would live to regret it

Local businesses accuse Jammeh of “economic exploitation” and intimidation

GAMTEL indebted to The Gambia Football Association!!

By Our Banjul Bureau Chief Landing Badjie.
Paid for and Commissioned by the Freedom Newspaper.

As threats of  Economic bankruptcy grips the Gambian Government, President Yahya Jammeh has issued a threat against the country’s private sector who refused to extend helping hands to  his ongoing “Operation Promote Excellence in the Sciences (OPECS) project. The Gambian leader who faces international isolation vowed to deal with any parastatal who refuses to take part in ongoing fundraising drive to sponsor his aids cure project, which was widely condemned by renowned Scientists and medical community. The Gambia is currently faced by economic crisis with little or no serious investor targeting the former British colony for economic activities. The government of the day is facing the  pinch of such economic collapse, as most importers in the country have stopped ordering goods. This was attributable to lack of  conducive business climate in the Gambia. The government in their bid to decide prices of  basic commodities had been greeted by tough resistance by local businesses. President Jammeh’s behavioral tantrum has paid yet another dividend when his threat on parastatals, multi-national and private companies as well as institutions to patronize his Operation Promote Excellence in the Sciences (OPECS) project was not taken lightly.

GPA spearheading the Presidential forced donation solicitation!

The Gambia Ports Authority(GPA) that is now spearheading the promotion and fund-raising drive, is impressed with the level of public participation in their annual fundraising musical programme with the Senegalese diva, Vivianne Ndour and the Gambia’s Mbalax sensation, Yusupha Ngom, that they bought thousands of centimeters of newspaper columns to express their ‘sincere’ appreciation. According to sources close to the Presidency, Mr. Jammeh has, before the fund-raising event, issued a stern warning and threat that companies and their heads stand to lose a lot if they fail to dig deep into their coffers and donate generously to the fund-raising event. It is, therefore, no wonder that when the fund-raising activity took centre stage last week,101 companies came out to generously contribute.

Most of the company owners say they were forced to extend financial help to the President without their free will. They cited the possibilities of the government persecuting them if they fail to answer to the President’s forced donation call. A top business executive who confided to the Freedom Newspaper in private said “regrettably most of the funds, would not served its purpose. These funds are going directly to the President’s account. It’s unfair for the President to force us to support his aids cure program when the funds are not going to manage judiciously. No aids patient is going to benefit from the funds. It’s for the President and no one else. It’s better for them to be frank with us than to use the names of hiv patients to collect funds on their behalf. I for one regretted why extended helping hand to the President.” said a Managing Director of a company.
NAWEC and The Police to

NAWEC and the police active on fundraising drive!!

From the non-performing Nawec to the poorly-paid police force to the moribund GPTC to the relatively unknown LB Gaye and Sons company, all parted in their money to sponsor the event. The feared NIA was also among the sponsors. In an interview with this paper, many corporate heads lamented the Gambia government’s penchant for fund-raising. “ We are aware that we have a corporate and social responsibilities to carry out but we cannot nonetheless continue to be milked for events neither whose tail nor head we know. This modern form of Almudism is becoming too much,” said our interlocutor.“Today would be one event and tomorrow is another. If it’s not Kanilai Festival or Futampaf, then it would be July 22 celebrations or Operation Save the Baby. There is indeed a donor fatigue now and the president should be aware of this,” said a disgruntled sponsor of OPES.

Taiwan Under Fire Again!!

The Taiwanese government is coming under an increasing public scrutiny in The Gambia for aiding and abetting one of the worst vices that has ruined many African countries-corruption. The Taiwanese embassy’s involvement in The Gambia has been hailed in many quarters in that the island country is seen as a beneficial and reliable partner to the tiny West African state. But to many, the Taiwanese government is increasing becoming a consistent partner to the Jammeh administration in fostering corruption in the impoverished African nation where people live on less than a dollar per day.

The Taiwanese government is now under the microscope and the country’s embassy in Banjul have been called upon to impress on the government of The Gambia to account for the millions of dollars given to them over the years. “The Taiwanese government have to give a cogent explanation if they want people to believe that all the money given to Jammeh foundation and the APRC administration are utilized for the best interest of Gambians,” Lawyer Ousainou Darboe once told a UDP meeting in Bundung barely days to the Presidential elections. But it is not only Darboe who is concerned about the Taiwanese involvement in The Gambia. Other corruption watch-dog groups are now also putting the searchlight on the Taiwanese government and their embassy in Banjul.

In another development, the Taiwanese embassy in Banjul last Monday donated D10,000,000 to the government of The Gambia as part of their contribution to the construction of a Science and Mathematics academy in the home-hamlet of President Jammeh. The aim of the Kanilai academy, according to the Taiwanese ambassador to The Gambia, Patrick Chang, is to impart scientific knowledge to youths to better prepare them for future national development engagements.

But the location of the academy has been criticized well before it takes off the ground. Kanilai is said to be in a far-flung area of the country and its remoteness means many Gambian youths, in whose name, the project is premised, do not stand to benefit from it.

An investigation conducted by this paper’s Banjul chief correspondent has revealed that President is receiving D30,000 for any private function he attends. The D30,000 is variable and it depends on the head of any institution to even pledge more depending on the thickness of the company owner’s wallet.

In recent days, the president has been accused of continually endearing himself to the business community not that he want to promote private sector growth but to milk them of their hard-earned profits.

GAMTEL Indebted!!!

The Gambia Telecommunications Company (Gamtel) is at present owing the Gambia Football Association a colossal sum of money in advertisement, this paper was reliably informed. According to sources close to GFA, the country’s telecommunications company is indebted to the country’s main soccer body in thousands of dalasis and persistent appeals by the football association to recover the money is yet to be heeded. GFA insiders informed this medium that Gamtel became indebted to the association when it defaulted in paying rates for their billboards planted in and outside the Independence Stadium in Bakau for the period under consideration. Our sources however fell short of stating how much Gamtel owes GFA but hinted that it a substantial amount of money.

Efforts are underway to ascertain how much the main benefactor of the APRC government and its never-ending wasteful public events owe the poor football association.In the meantime, the Gambia Football Association is in dire need of financial rescue. The association is currently beset with numerous constraints not least financial bottlenecks.

Posted on Wednesday, May 30, 2007 (Archive on Monday, July 23, 2007)
Posted by PNMBAI  Contributed by PNMBAI

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