President Adama Barrow expressed his disappointment at the low wages of civil servants vowing to enforce spending cuts and bolting the system.
“I am disappointed about the low salary scale in the public sector in comparison to the private sector. We inherited a difficult situation but our priority is to stabilize the system and cut on costs,” Mr. Barrow said.
The Gambian president, who inherited a nearly insolvent country is faced with many economic challenges. The former regime was plagued with corruption and financial mismanagement.
Investigations into allegations of theft have found that money borrowed from domestic banks to pay the salaries of civil servants were diverted into private bank accounts.
” It was discovered that while the former government was borrowing from private banks to pay salaries, a lot of money went into private pockets and not the government,” said Barrow.
The president on Tuesday met with civil service leaders from the government’s Personnel Management Office. No plans are known to have salaries increased, where those at the bottom of the pay chart make less than $550 per year.
Salaries for Gambia’s public service workers have not have remained stagnant for must parts of former President Yahya Jammeh’s rule. Jammeh has been accused of stealing billions from the country, including some $50 million in the last weeks of his rule.