"Social Security and Housing Finance Cooperation (SSHFC) inaugurated a fleet of fifty (50) new buses for the newly created Gambia Transport Services Company at a ceremony held at the July 22 Square in Banjul on Friday,7th June 2013. Officially inaugurating the buses on behalf of President, Madame Isatou Njie Saidy, the Vice President and Minister of Women Affairs, said they are witnessing a significant milestone in the history of the country with the commissioning of 50 new buses for the newly established Gambia Transport Service Company Ltd (G.T.S.C). The presidentís statement indicated that the buses have been specially assembled for this country by Ashok-Leyland which, it noted, is one of the most reputable bus manufacturing companies in the world and that they are confident about their durability.
The President said the need for a public transport system cannot be overlooked in their efforts to bring about national development. ďA public transport system is an important agent that hastens the pace of development and serves as a catalyst to other development endeavours...."
"Mixing up personality with the state is a dangerous Precedence. President Jammeh is completely mortgaging the Gambian State and Nation. Mixing up celebrations of the Presidentís birthday with unveiling of national projects and policies is absolutely dangerous and unprecedented. A nation is too big to be owned and operated by an individual. A State is too complicated to be personalized into a family affair! This is what is happening in Gambia..
The newly unveiled Gambia Transport Service Company (GTSC) duped as public corporation is the biggest scam on Gambian public assets. In fact we are not surprise that President Jammeh has decided to mask this company into a public utility company.....
Gambia has reached a dangerous threshold where the State can no longer be separated from the President and his family....Accountability, transparency and probity must truly be restored in Gambia!"
"THE CONCERNS: The Social security is a workersí company. They provide the funds for pensions. The funds would exist as long as employment exists. However, the company has to save the funds collected from the workers or invest it in the productive base of the economy in order to preserve the monies paid by the workers.
The first worry was the investment in purchasing Ocean Bay Hotel and refurbishing it at a cost of over 400 Million dalasi. Has the investment paid any dividend? How much of this money has been recovered so far? What is the implication if the investment is not recovered?
The investment in Buses requires proper evaluation of the road condition before the new company starts operation. How much did social security invest?
How long will it take to recover the sum?
Bus services are needed. Ferries services are needed. There were buses before but the company went into bankruptcy even though Fares were being paid by the public. Ferry services were available and are still available. People pay fares. Why is it impossible to make enough savings to be able to purchase new ferries and buses without incurring debt?
In our view, a company like Social Security that cannot afford to be bankrupt or lack sufficient funds to pay pensioners should invest the monies paid in the Banking system and public enterprises could go directly to the banks to borrow money to buy ferries or buses and then be monitored by the banks for payment.
Foroyaa will now proceed to conduct more investigation on the cost of the buses and how the new company is to operate in relation to Social security."