By Adama Tine
The Secretary General and leader of the People’s Democratic Organisation for Independence and Socialism (PDOIS), Halifa Sallah has revealed that the debt burden of the country is 77.4 billion dalasi.
“This means that even a newly born child carries a debt burden of 38,000 dalasi; therefore, how are we going to solve that problem,” he questioned during a press conference on Tuesday at the Foroyaa conference room. This followed the party’s inaugural meeting of the central committee under the theme: “Restructuring PDOIS for a just and smart government; the final battle against ignorance and poverty” on the 24th of April 2021.
He added that if PDOIS comes to power, they will create a cooperative bank out of the sovereign wealth of the land that will plow our waters and ensure more wealth in our pockets and earn more foreign exchange.
According to him, the Gambia spends D4 billion on rice importation when the country has all the land to be able to cultivate abundant rice. He assured citizens that his party will eradicate poverty in the country if elected for the upcoming presidential elections.
“We have money that we can send for the farming communities, give them fertilizers, seeds and the farming equipment they need to produce abundant rice for the country,” he noted.
Sallah added that the D4 billion dalasi that is spent on importing rice can be invested in the country through agriculture that will provide abundant rice without importing. “This is what is called Import Substitution,” he said.
He added that if investment is made on agricultural lands, the country will develop without importing rice while spending billions of dalasis and for that reason, his party will make sure rice is cultivated here and the money will remain here as well.
“If we want to end poverty in this country, we must invest in agriculture and supply the farmers with the necessary farming implements they need which will provide abundant rice for this country without depending on rice importation,” he noted.
The PDOIS leader further revealed that development is about knowledge and study but not initiation and readymade.