3 January 2014

Gambia: Ex-GPTC Staff Yet to Receive Benefits Works Ps, Solicitor General Explain

It is one year now since the former staff of the defunct Gambia Public Transport Corporation (GPTC) have started pursuing the payment of their dues after being laid off following the closure of the bus transport service, but without success. The desperate ex-GPTC members of staff have been visiting the Foroyaa for the paper to transmit their demands and plight to the concerned authorities for immediate redress, They have again visited the paper for their concerns to be transmitted with the hope that this New Year will bring to them positive results. This is what has again prompted this reporter to visit the line Ministry of Communication, Works and Infrastructure (now Transport, Works and Infrastructure), the former line ministry of GPTC, and the Attorney General's Chambers to enquire about the state of progress regarding the final payment of the benefits of these workers.

Visiting the Ministry of Transport, Works and Infrastructure, Mr. Abdoulie Camara, the Permanent Secretary, again told this reporter that his Ministry had done their part on this issue by gathering all the necessary information regarding the former staff and then handed over the file to the Ministry of Justice some months ago. "We have handed over everything concerning the claimants and now the file is with the ministry of justice," he said. When contacted on the issue, Mr. Basiru V.P. Mahoney, the Solicitor General and the Legal Secretary, told this reporter in his office in Banjul that the file has not yet reached his desk.

However, the former Solicitor General and Legal Secretary, Mr. Pa Harry Jammeh was earlier interviewed on the issue and he confirmed that the file of the ex-GPTC staff was in his office. He also promised that they are working on it and expressed hope that they (ex-staff) will be paid as soon as he is done with the scrutiny.

It could be recalled that in November 2012 Mr. Francis Liti Mboge, the then Minister of Works, Communication and Infrastructure, told deputies at the National Assembly that the government is closing down GPTC, but promised that the salaries and full benefits of its former staff will be settled without delay.

For one year now, these former members of staff of the defunct GPTC, who are all family heads, have been pursuing the settlement of their benefits as promised by the government, but in vain.

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