Wednesday, 06 February 2013 19:07(JollofNews) – One of Gambia's political opposition leaders Hamat Bah has reiterated his disapproval to the Government's controversial executive decision to introduce a four-day work week, describing it as not being 'development-oriented', and not good for the country's economy.
"The four-day work week is not development-oriented. It is extremely bad for the country and the economy," he told JollofNews during an exclusive interview.
The Gambia Government came up last month with an executive decision changing the number of working days and times.
"The new workdays and times will be Mondays to Thursdays from 08:00 am to 06:00 pm. Fridays will henceforth become rest and prayer days alongside Saturdays and Sundays. Schools and banks are free to work on Saturdays to compensate for the Fridays which will now become non-working days," said a Government statement issued in January.
The rationale behind such a move is to "allow Gambians to devote more time to prayers, social activities, and agriculture."
The reduction of the number of workdays gave rise to a public disapproval, reflecting the prevailing situation in face of the challenges confronting the tiny West African state.
According to the National Reconciliation Party (NRP) leader the decision is far from laying the seeds for brighter prospects. "With five workdays, we still experience serious shortcomings. What would happen now with the new work schedule?"
He deplored President Jammeh's use of religion to justify a move that has reached the lowest level of popularity since its inception. "I believe we should not use religion as an excuse for imposing a four-day work week on the Gambian people."
Getting tougher with this contentious issue, the NRP leader said poorly-paid civil servants will be burdened even more than the wealthy. "It has some serious ramifications on workers. There is no public transport system in The Gambia, and the private sector alone cannot satisfy the demand fully."
He added: "In the morning when you go to work, you have to look for a loaf of bread, and you have to take from your pocket. Now there will be additional expenses as public servants will have to look for launch. This will have some negative impacts on the family."
Written by Abdoulie John
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