01 January 2015, Kanifing Municipality — The operation of banks and other financial businesses in the Gambia were ground to halt following shootings at state house in Banjul in the wee hours of Tuesday, 30th December, 2014.
Visiting the business areas were the financial institutions are situated in the Kanifing Municipality, this reporter observed that all banks were closed with only their security personnel in sight.
At the Trust Bank in the Serekunda market all the doors were seen locked and upon enquiry the security guard said, “we are not operating today.”
A customer was found there who came to make withdrawals. “I’m desperately in need money but because of the incident I cannot make a withdrawal as the bank is closed,” said the young man.
At Kairaba Avenue, where most if not all of the banks in the country have branches, I found the place almost deserted. None of the banks along the stretch opened and the reason being the same i.e. the gunfire in Banjul.
While at the front of one of the banks, I found a desperate looking European lady who was there for an appointment to conduct some transactions.
Apart from the banks, other businesses such as supermarkets, furniture, garment shops, etc. were also closed.
Local businesses were also affected as well as commercial vehicle owners and drivers. One Alagie Ngum, a commercial vehicle driver, who plies the Westfield-Brikama highway, said the incident has affected their work as few people ventured out.
“You can even see the situation for yourself as the highway is empty today compared to the other days and this is not good for our business. Some people are panicky and do not want to go out of their houses,” he lamented.
Ensa Jeng, a customer at the Serekunda market, said he came to do some retail shopping for his shop but that the store where he usually buys his commodities is closed.
The same situation obtained in Bakau, as businesses have also closed there. The incident has some economic implications on many businesses as yesterday was a lost day for all of them.
*Kebba Jeffang, FOROYAA Newspaper (Serrekunda)