By Ramatoulie Jawo
Foni Bintang Karanai National Assembly Member Hon. Bakary K. Badjie has accused the Gambia government of taking loans to “satisfy a small group of people.”
“I think the government must develop plans on how to generate funds, not to depend on loans constantly without resting. With the loans you are taking, there is no certainty that your government is going to last longer. But then you are taking these loans because you just want to satisfy a few individuals that are present because you know that you are not in a position to pay them. Then what will happen to the next Government that will come?” Hon. Badjie asked.
Hon. Badjie expressed concern about the Gambia government’s continued borrowing. He said that the government keeps signing loan agreements, but the benefits of these loans are not being seen. He alleged that some of the money from the loans is being used for political purposes, which he called “the saddest part of it.”
Hon. Badjie believes that it is time for the Gambia to find a way to generate its own funds. He said that the country is currently paying interest on the loans it has taken, which is a burden on the economy.
“With all the loans we are accumulating, the lives of the Gambian people are not improving. So, I think it is the right time for us to go back to the drawing board and stop taking these loans. Because these loans are a way of hanging us Africans and are a way of enslaving us. Why are we not taking these loans in Dalasis.? But we are signing loans not in Dalasis but in Dollars. Because our money is depreciating day by day. Why is our money depreciating? You tell us it is because of the foreign exchange rate. But that is not the case it is because of the constant loans that we are taking,” Hon. Badjie stressed.
The lawmaker said that if the current government is not capable of generating funds, then they should step aside and allow someone who can do it to take over. He further urged his fellow members of the National Assembly to be mindful of the loans they are taking, as they will be held accountable for them in the future.
“We should put our house in order and make the government have a clear vision and to have aims and objectives on how to generate funds,” he said.
The NAM made these remarks at the National Assembly while debating on the US$50 Million Revolving Line of Credit Agreement between the government of the Gambia and BADEA for a Trade Finance Facility for the Importation of Petroleum Products, Food, and other essential commodities from Africa and Arab countries.