Mr. President, the155 persons who violated the COVID-19 testing and isolation protocols, and evaded last month are a great concern to the public because it poses great health risk. This mistake of COVID-19 patients escaping quarantine should never be repeated again.
We have noticed that there is an increase in the number of deaths and an increase in positive cases these days, but yet, the majority of people don’t wear masks, don’t use hand sanitiser or respect social distance, which the health authorities and the police should be strict with.
Mr. President, we welcome the move by the government to increase allowances payable to doctors and PHD holders at the central level of the Ministry of Health to be comparable to their colleagues in the hospitals and other government agencies.
This will bring commitment and dedication on the side of the health personnel, which in turn will improve service delivery in the health sector.
Mr. President, your government needs to give attention to the Gambia Ports Authority (GPA), which is of concern recently. GPA should be given subsidy to improve the ferry services or invite foreign investors like Dubai Ports or Bolore to buy shares and develop the two identities because of the tough competition in the subregion that GPA is facing.
Problems like the lack of shore handling equipment, lack of space, including berths for ships resulting in delay in deliveries of urgent commodities is now prominent at the Port. These problems should be addressed soonest.
The Port should find ways of having its own dredger as it used to have a dredger called Malo in the past.
Government should consider selling shares of the Gambia Ferry Services and the dockyard which will help improve the services of these areas.
Mr. President, maintenance dragging is a basic requirement to any port to avoid impediment to shipping activities. Prevention is surely better than cure.
Government should look for the right experienced people in the maritime industry to be on the board of GPA and not friends, relatives or political friends.
Mr. President, all the board members of any institution should be appointed based on their experience in that field and should reside in the country.
Gambians outside the country, who are experts in their areas and are willing to come back and work for the development of the country should also be welcomed on board the bus.
Finally Mr. President, the government should consider revitalising our River Gambia by encouraging a river steamer service.
Government should also seek aid through their bilateral cooperation with Japan, China, Greece and Turkey to help with new ferries and ferry terminals at Banjul and Barra to be modernised with better standards since the OIC summit is next year.