1 February 2016

Gambia: A Positive Sign Indeed!


It seems the year 2016 is unfolding with some good tidings. Latest developments in the light of the reduction of the pump price of fuel and price of a bag of rice have given the impression that there might be a slice in the cost of living for the masses of our people this year.

The Finance ministry stated in a press release aired by State TV at the weekend that announced that domestic pump prices of petroleum, diesel and kerosene have been reduced by 8.5%; 12.4 % and 14.0% respectively.

In dalasi terms, it means filling stations countrywide should now sell at D53.77, D40.49, and D46.9, which should take effect today February 1.

Our findings have also discovered and noted that prices of various shades and colour of bags of rice have been reduced, as reported in one of our front-page stories.

This is laudable and a sign of brighter days, though forecasters in the circles of the world powers and, indeed, IMF CEO Christine Lagarde have said the world should tighten its belt for some harder days ahead as 2016 will not be easy.

Meanwhile, let say if this trend of fair pricing is maintained, as the world market takes its course, some of the pressure under which the populace of our nation is placed by profiteering will be eased, and inflation will definitely go at a snail's pace.

With this new development, we are expecting to see some real price reduction in our retail rice purchases, as well as in commercial vehicle fares, including a reverse in the pattern of commercial vehicle drivers who flout the rules by shortening distances to get passengers pay twice the fare, for a distance that would normally be paid for only once.

If the price reduction of fuel and rice is really implemented to reach the grassroots, the layman would be enabled to take a bag of rice home at the end of the month or to meet the cost of living of his family.

It is, therefore, advisable that the new price change is implemented to the benefit of all.

As the state TV's release stated, after the decline of the global fuel price which is US$30 as at January 2016, "the Ministry considers it necessary to reduce domestic pump prices in order to transfer the gains of falling global oil pump prices to consumers and citizens in line with this development."

All marketing companies are, therefore, advised to stick to the new prices for the good of all and sundry.


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