By Halimatou Ceesay
Demba Ali Jawo, the Information Minister responding to questions raised by journalist during his monthly press briefing at his office, said the Government of the Gambia under President Barrow’s leadership is working on addressing the issues facing the nation.
Mr. Jawo said: “With regards to the currency and its sanitisation as we have different currencies in sizes of currency notes being circulated at the moment, the Ministry of Finance is working on getting the situation stabilised the problem with the currency policies under the Central Bank.
“They are working on it and probably before the end of the year or by early next year we expect to see some changes in a way the currencies are been managed and probably changed the currency notes, put them in line with what it supposed to be rather in different sizes which could be a little bit confusing to the users of the currencies.”
On the development of Banjul as the capital city, Minister Jawo said the Ministry of Works, Transport and Infrastructure is definitely aware of the situation and is very much concerned about the poor infrastructure in the capital city and plans are been considered to see how best the infrastructure of the city is improved.
On the wood and timber that was scattered all over the place, he said: “As you know there was an embargo put in place for the exportation of timber because we have been getting lots of complaints from our neighbours, Senegal for instance that Gambians have been exporting timber across the border bringing it to the Gambia and then selling it. The Government of the Gambia was definitely concern about that and there was a decision to put an embargo on the exportation of Timber until the situation is kind of studied and see how best it can be handled.”
He added that for that some people that have decided to flout that embargo and have had some of their consignment of timber seized.
On the problems with the car parks, the minister added: “Yes, I understand that there have been lots of problems of transportation in this country but again the Ministry of Transport and Infrastructure is aware of the situation and they are definitely doing something about it to address the situation. Right now, the Ministry has already done something on the fares with regards to reduction and most probably the next target is going to see how best they can address the issue of car parks.”
On the issue of women complaining about the poor state of the markets, he said: “Most of our markets have got problems of space, we know that and is not unusual seeing people selling all over the place and even blocking the roads sometimes. The women are affected, and we have a lot of women selling in the markets but everybody else is affected so if it is to be addressed, it is going to be holistically addressed. The government is aware of all these situations.
The Ministry of Local Government, which is in charge of all these councils and markets are addressing these issues. They are looking at all the possibilities of either expanding the markets or building more markets so that those who are selling will be accommodated rather than the situation which looks a bit chaotic in certain areas.”