Monday, February 26, 2024

Deputy GID Commissioner: “GID Has Only D150,000 Budget for Deportation”

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By: Dawda Baldeh

The Deputy Commissioner of The Gambia Immigration Department (GID), Sulayman Kujabi, revealed that the entire budget allocated to GID for deportation is one hundred and fifty thousand dalasis.

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The senior Immigration officer made these revelations during a show on Star TV, ‘Mbarmi.’

He mentioned, among other things, that the GID budget is insufficient to cover the deportation costs for individuals considered “unwanted” in the country after serving jail terms.

“The annual budget for deportation at GID is one hundred and fifty thousand dalasis (D150,000), which is very small. This cannot cover the deportation cost for one person sometimes. Imagine if someone is to be deported to England and the person needs two escorts; can one hundred and fifty thousand dalasi cover their travel expenses?” he questioned.

According to Kujabi, this poses a significant challenge to the GID, and they are appealing to the government to increase the budget.

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“Deportation is expensive, and we don’t have the resources to do all, so that’s why sometimes we make arrangements with our immigration partners to facilitate deportation. It’s important for the public to know that we are constrained,” he explained.

The senior immigration official added that security is crucial and needs adequate funding. He urged the government, through the Ministry of Finance, to provide an adequate budget for Immigration.

“This year, we drafted a budget estimate of eighty-three million dalasis, and when it gets to the National Assembly, they reduce it to fifty million dalasis,” he added.

Commissioner Kujabi, who appeared on the TV show responding to a range of subjects, appealed for such discussions to be held in segments to facilitate dialogue and understanding. He also clarified the basis of issuing a Gambian passport and the requirements.

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“The cost attached for a Gambian to pay for a passport is D3060, and the person is expected to pay the same price on renewals of passports,” he said. He went on to shed light on various paperwork conducted by Immigration and the challenges they are facing.

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