In the civil service, a Gambian with a high school certificate can earn anywhere from D4,000 to D6,000 a month. Someone with an undergraduate degree working in the civil service can earn from D7,000 to D9,000 a month. Compare these figures with the amount of money that gets wasted in the civil service every year.
Every Gambian can see for themselves what our ministries are spending each year (the budget expenditure is on public record for everyone to have a look at). Some of the expenditures can be justified, especially in sectors like health and education. Some sectors on the other hand, a good example being the foreign ministry, spends way too much for a country which cannot provide employment to a large number of it’s youth population. Simply put, some sectors need help and can justify the amount of money they spend but some cannot justify it at all. Certain sectors in the civil service are clearly understaffed, especially those that provide services by dealing directly with the Gambian population, eg. Health, Education, Pensioners.
Imagine someone earning D250,000 a month for a 5 year period, while there are qualified Gambians who can’t even get a job that pays D10,000 a month. Ambassadors of other countries serve for an average of 3 years. An embassy staff’s period of diplomatic service shouldn’t be more than this if Gambians are to get equal opportunities. Even a two year term would be fair enough for other embassy staff.
In contrast, those employed in the civil service earn anywhere from D100,000 to D250,000 a month on average, regardless of qualification. In addition to this they receive numerous benefits that even those working in the ministries do not get. Example health care, education costs and certain allowances for their upkeep. Some Embassies, but not all are also overstaffed. Not all positions need to be filled, especially since some staff members do not have enough reponsibilities to justify their presence or their pay. Another thing is the ages of some of these civil servants. Someone who is over the age of 65 and has been working in the civil service for decades would hardly bring about new ideas needed nor would they be fully capable of handling some responsibilities. Instead, there are educated young eager hardworking Gambians who could fill up positions occupied by workers who should be retired mandatorily. Another thing is those who serve in Embassies serve for too long. Imagine someone earning D250,000 a month for a 5 year period, while there are qualified Gambians who can’t even get a job that pays D10,000 a month. Embassy staff members simply need a paycut if our economy is to benefit us Gambians, and the civil service has to be the one to spearhead this move. Before i conclude, let me show you how making the recommended changes above could help with the unemployment issue. Instead of an ineffective employee at an embassy who earns D250,000 a month, making his annual salary D3,000,000 a year, 25 undergraduate degree holders could be employed, with a salary of D10,000 a month each.
Please let the Gambian people know the reality of our government’s spending habits, as this is one of the ways us Gambians can demand change from our government. I’ve only listed a few ways that government mismanages its funds but i’m sure there are a lot of other ways it could cut its expenditure and invest in areas that could greatly benefit the Gambian public. Let people see the figures for themselves so that they can know what exactly to demand from the government.