QUESTION OF THE DAY
Many European countries have now ordered people to stay at home and the state is taking responsibility for supporting everyone to contain the virus. This has brought about the final realization that the state should be the protector of last resort to its citizenry. In the past conservatives have argued that the state should not give handouts to its citizens and should not take part in productive activity.
The question now remains: How could a state in Europe ask all her citizens to stay at home without enough sovereign National wealth to distribute to them?
In the Gambia, the state is not asking its citizens to stay at home but many sectors of society are to be affected by emergency measures.
It is absolutely clear that a state should not stop anyone from working, close any business or reduce earnings for health reason without compensation.
The most effective state in carrying out such welfare measures is the one that is capable of generating and accumulating sovereign national wealth from productive engagement in developing and exploiting our natural and mineral resources for the benefit of the people.
People have to work and live. If they are stopped for health reasons, they must be supported by government in their time of need.
In the same vein, the drivers whose earnings are being reduced by lowering of fares must be compensated by lowering fuel prices accordingly or by compensating their losses whichever is more practical to do. This is the way forward.
The state requested 90 days from the National Assembly to contain and reverse the spread of COVD 19. The National Assembly gave the state 45 days to show it can do to contain the virus and address the hardship that may arise from the measures it is putting in place.
All Gambians should now support all reasonable and justifiable measures put in place to contain the virus and monitor all hardships that may accompany such measures with the view to have them addressed on time.