15 February 2013

Gambia: Stall Owners in Brikama Complain Lack of Permanent Place

The businessmen and women situated behind the Brikama Health Centre raised concerns to the Brikama Area Council for lack of proper and permanent place for suitable business for them in Brikama, the administrative headquarters for West Coast Region.

The complainants say the area they were occupying before is behind the Brikama Health Center, but they were vacated from there by the BAC sometime last year and were relocated to the old market or the Nyambia market which according to them is not a suitable place for such their business. They also revealed that they pay an annual license fees of D150 for each stall (canteen) and an additional daily fee of five dalasis. The complainants also revealed that this problem of space has been a long standing one Even though the council continues to collect fees from them. They also reveal that the council did informed them at the time they were vacating them that the area did not belong to them, instead it belongs to the Health Centre.

The public relations Officer of the Brikama Area Council Mr. Momodou Jonga confirmed that they vacate the vandors from that particular location because it does not belong to the council; that it instead belongs to the Brikama Health Centre. Mr. Jonga said they were given the directive to remove them (Vendors) and relocate them to another place within their jurisdiction.

"We were given the directive to vacate them because the place belongs to the Health Centre", He said. He added that since that directive was given to them they did so together with the security forces and the office of the governor.

"We are instructed to relocate them to the old market and or the Nyambia market and good number of them complied". He further said since they carried out the task to vacate them they don't have any hand if the vendors should come back to the same place for business.

He responded to the question of a suitable place and said the only suitable place for them is at the old market of the Nyambia market. The vendors also said since the council cannot find a suitable place for them, then they should not also be collecting tax from them.

Mr. Jonga said in as long as they are doing their business within their jurisdiction, whether the venue belongs to the council directly or not, payment of tax is a must; that they must pay tax, he stressed.

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