By Awa B. Bah
According to a release from the Ministry of Transport, Works and Construction Infrastructure, the general public is hereby informed that transport fares for the passenger transport within the country , has been reduced by 15% of the present tariff, National Cargo and Goods 12% and Regional Cargo and Goods by 10% reflectively. The release which was issued on Friday 11th August 2017, further informed the public that the revised fares for all the destinations will be made available at all major garages and copies can also be obtained from the ministry of Transport, Works, and Infrastructure. The effective date for the reduction is Monday, 21st August 2017.The General Public especially drivers are advised to comply, the release ends.
Speaking at a press conference at his office in Bakau, the Minister of Transport Works and Infrastructure, Bai Lamin Jobe, said the initiative of fare reduction was geared towards complementing the efforts of the new government in ensuring that basic services are affordable in a fair manner and accessible to everyone.
He said there has been a significant reduction in the pump price of fuel in the Gambia, since 2013.The pump price for diesel he said, went down from D56.7 to D42 over a four year period.
Mr. Jobe continued: ’’Government strongly believes that this reduction should trickle down to the general public. We all know that when the pump price of fuel rises, the operator immediately increases the fares without warning and when it goes down they don’t say much. This is the reason why we have involved all the relevant stakeholders.’’
The minister said this is not an exercise for government to interfere in the market but a method of bringing all the concern stakeholders together. Minister Jobe thanked all the ministries, transport Unions and Associations for their tireless involvement in the exercise and hope that they will continue to support the new Gambia.
Omar Ceesay and Omar Touray of the transport union and associations, described it as the moment the majority of Gambians have been waiting for, citing the earnings of the average Gambian as meager. Both expressed appreciation in the reduction of the domestic retail price of fuel in the Gambia and assured the Minister that the information will be filtered down to their various unions and organisations across the country.