Passengers are seen boarding a bus at the Basel bus park in Serrekunda, Banjul, Gambia January 17, 2017 REUTERS/Afolabi Sotunde

Gambia: Transport fares take a nose dive

Gambian authorities said transport fares, including for the ferry will plummet by September to one of the lowest in about a decade after fuel prices at the pumps dropped.

Gambia’s new government has been on the drive to reduce the prices of basic goods and service. Although the price of bread has not been lowered, the government reduced the price of flour.

Gambia’s trade ministry and its other departments have been in talks with unions, including the transport union to lower prices amid growing impatience among citizens over economic growth.

President Adama Barrow inherited an economy that was near insolvency. Gambia’s economy was also taken aback by a shock caused the logjam that followed last year’s elections.

Many citizens, especially government workers in the country spend a good part of their income on fares to work. The new decision will see prices drop by at least 10 to 15 percent.

Fuel prices have dropped from D56 to D42 since 2013 per liter but Gambia’s ex-government failed to initiate talks with the transport union to have fares lowered.

Barrow said last month that his administration is working to ensure that the prices of especially food items are reduced. The majority of the Gambian population are farmers and more than 70 percent of the country’s rural dwellers live on less than $2 a day.

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