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Government Rushing the Salary Increment Bill, Missing July Deadline

The Gambia Post reliably learned today that government has summoned an extraordinary session of the national assembly in their bid to enact the Civil Service Salary Increment Bill 2022 into law.

This followed frantic efforts to raise necessary funds to fulfill a much waited promise made by the President last year while seeking a fresh mandate from the population. President Barrow promised a new salary scale that will replace the outdated, decades old pay scale that did not commensurate the living realities of Gambia workers, especially civil service workforce.

“The Office of the Clerk of the National Assembly wishes to inform the general public that the National Assembly will convene its First Extra-Ordinary Session in 2022 Legislative Year on Thursday 28th July, 2022 at 10:00am to consider the…A Revised Budget 2022 for the consideration of the National Assembly to accommodate Civil Service salary increment,” a statement from the office of the Clerk of the National Assembly stated.

However, it is not sure how government will finance this amidst the already existing budget deficit that it relied on for the past three years to finance it’s programmes and projects. The said Salary Increment was not catered in the 2022 national budget. Therefore throwing the executive into some fund-searching from donor partners that replenish the super high overdraft at the Central Bank.

“Even when the Bill is passed this week, its inherent procedures and enforcement will definitely take beyond July before civil servants start enjoying the new pay the increase promised by Barrow,” a source at the National Assembly said to us today when contacted for comments on the extraordinary session convened.

About a month ago today, The Gambia Post ran an editorial, decrying the impossible standards of living for Gambian workers when costs of living have surged to unprecedented levels over the years yet salaries remained stagnant.

We later learned that President Barrow summoned a meeting with his economic technocrats to discuss the issue of salary increase that he promised the Gambian workers. However, at the said meeting, the new Finance Minister who replaced the supplementary appropriations guru Mamabury Njie, had made it clear that there are no existing funding avenue for such the enforcement of such a policy pronouncement.

The Central Bank had also indicated the unsustainable levels of overdraft withdrawals by government in anticipating donor funds even before those funds reach the country.

Experts meanwhile argued the government needs to rethink it’s spending habit, that is far more than it’s income capacity, thereby throwing the country into heavy indebtedness from its creditors.

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