By: Makal Sagnia,
To get the nourishing food from out the water, fishermen came up with an ingenious idea to attract and lure the coveted sea life by baiting them, using the deadly but attractively disguised hook! Beware of Baits!
Stay away from baits to live a long and productive life.
The number one killer disease of our times, AIDS, is acquired through the surest and most prevalent bait-promiscuous sex! Promiscuity is deadly but is richly endowed as you get to meet and enjoy the most amazingly varied sex partners! Avoid promiscuity and you have 95% chance to be saved from AIDS,a sure way to a certain and painful death.
Corruption is the bane of our times and while it is true that it has numerous tentacles, avenues, the easiest and most abused and beaten path is the bait called PER DIEM!
Per Diem, a government allowance calculated on a daily basis is a highly coveted cash cow much abused by most government officials since Independence. It is a legally sanctioned allowance paid for both government initiated local and foreign trips but it is government officials in the foreign affairs service and State House who benefit the most from it. Other Ministers and their permanent secretaries and officials in the top echelons of their Ministries also benefit from the lucrative cash outlet.
Per Diem allowance paid for foreign trips are the most lucrative so therefore the most sought after. Because it pays the most dividend, it becomes the most attractive bait used by Ministers and their close lieutenants to exact power and undue influence in government and politics. It’s, therefore, a double-edged weapon both sides of which is harmful to our fledgling political dispensation and our struggling economy.
Abolish Per Diem, a fiscally sane undertaking that would save a huge chunk of revenue which could be wisely reinvested elsewhere as well as plug a nicely disguised loophole. This could help to turn our economy around.
This sound economic advice cannot fail to deliver for the people and the nation. It is however an advice that will likely be frowned upon by the powers that be, the corrupt Chiefs that stand to benefit the most from this legalised path to corruption! Per Diem is akin to the tax cuts and tax loopholes that benefit the Rich and Powerful, the greedy and heartless entrepreneurs of our society.
During Jawara la Mansaya, a Minister’s two week foreign trip was enough to pay the Visa and plane tickets of a number of people. That is why Ministers like OJ were able to pay for the entire traveling budgets of huge numbers of jaribads and other hangers on, some of whom helped OJ in his early political forays against the unconquerable Jibbou Jayne of Serakunda!
Helping those OJ “boys”, proved to be a wise investment for OJ for they paid back handsomely after the end of Jawara la Mansaya and the arrogant tyrant Yaya took over. Those OJ la boysolu helped him to keep his head above water and keep his goor ( what is that? Foroya? Sorry, de gou ma Olof deh!)
Anyway, my point is Per Diem is misused, abused and corrupted. It should either be abolished or regulated. Adama Barrow, The President of The Republic Of The Gambia is the most virulent abuser of the Per Diem! Rather than cut your salary by 10%, why not forgo Per Diem for yourself and your family, friends and Ministers?