Wednesday, January 13, 2010


NEWS GAMBIA BANJUL- This was the message delivered by the Party Secretary and Leader of the National Reconciliation Party (NRP)honorable Hamat Bah , in wishing Gambians and non alike happy 2010. The message goes like this

"As was said last year, we need to be committed as a nation and as a people and work towards the common good of our country. Most specifically, I want to say that each and every Gambian should work towards eradicating poverty and improve on our livelihoods. We cannot do this unless we avoid sitting the whole day doing nothing other than talking and gossiping. We as Gambians must work very hard for the good of our country. But in as much as we work hard, we need to be supported particularly when it comes to the agriculture sector.

"We must maximise the usage of the River Gambia. We are losing millions of litres of fresh water from the River Gambia simply because we are not making best use of it. Our country has a size of about 11, 000 sq kilometres. We could easily irrigate this and harvest every three months if we are determined to do it. If we invest to the River Gambia by way of irrigation, we could harvest every three months and eventually eradicate poverty in this country.

"The PPP regime started something with the Jahally Pacharr Project but that failed. The APRC have not made any significant investment in that direction. I believe it is time for the Gambian people to understand fully that we have all the resources to enrich every one of us and eradicate poverty from this country.

"Government alone cannot do this, the private sector has an important role to play in this regard; they have to be involved. But because of the high lending rates in the banks, it would be difficult for people to take loans from the banks. Government cannot also afford all that money on it's own.

Secondly, "we have too many single mothers and unemployed youths in this country, who are struggling to maintain families. Yes we agree that we cannot all go into agriculture, but it is important that we open other avenues by getting funds for those young people to make it possible for them to get involved in the import and export trade rather than leaving it in the hands of foreigners. If we are able to do that, it would make a big difference as it would allow a national participation in all aspects of development.

"We all agree that we have so many banks in this country, but it has become clear that Gambians are fearful of them in terms of loans. Most of them do not have trust in the banking industry simply because some bank projects have failed. The rates are too high and the revenues generated cannot repay loans. At the end, what comes next is failure.

"If the banks are to fully participate in the development process, interest rates should be considerably reduced. That will make it possible for small-scale businesses to develop. Unless this is done, it will be difficult for small-scale businesses to develop.

This I believe is the way forward to eradicating poverty in this country and I believe, as citizens, this should be our resolution for 2010."

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