BY: Aja Musu Bah-Daffeh
Halifa Sallah, Secretary General and Presidential Candidate of the People’s Democratic Organization for Independence and Socialism (PDOIS) has dwelled on how the party intends to eradicate poverty. Sallah was unveiling the party’s strategic plan to eradicate poverty, injustice and ignorance at a press conference on Thursday 21st October, 2021 at its bureau.
He argued that his thoughts are not simply an idea but a demand of time and circumstance.
The purpose of the press conference was to teas out what gave rise to the demand, the means to utilize to address that demand, the various of the political forces, the convergences, divergencies, the basis for coalition building and the way forward.
Sallah stressed that the Barrow administration has done its best and the PODIS position is that, their best is not enough to eradicate the country’s poverty, ignorance and the injustice that has been done in the past.
He added that the country is highly dependent on grants and taxation and the revenue base is about D25 Billion for 2021 which he said is anticipated to rise to D29 Billion, adding that the grant, debt and tax base economy is not sustainable and that cannot eradicate poverty in the country.
He said this is why PDIOS is calling for system change, because Gambia is a rich country and has abundant natural resources, arable land of 558,000 hectares and about 320,000 is being cultivated, thus, nothing has been said on how the national development plan in short, medium and long term could lead us to food self-sufficiency.
“There is no investment programme of import substitution so that we will be able to generate what we need to consume and therefore, not only provide for what we need or reduce what we are spending on importation but also provide basis for employment in the Gambia,” Sallah said.
The presidential candidate said what PDOIS is promising Gambians, is to move away the service based economy that depends entirely on taxation and introduce services supported by the productive base. He added that the ocean can generate all the wealth that we need and that the wealth from the ocean, minerals, from iinvestments in the productive base, from public enterprises would actually be deposited at the Central Bank, and would have a cooperative Bank as well as an investment financial facility to be able to sustain the expansion of the earning capacity and the capacity to eradicate poverty.
To be continued………………………