Karlskrona (Sweden) – WorldRemit, the world’s largest, dedicated and leading online money transfer service for Europe, has suspended online money transfer to The Gambia, following recent instabilities in the country’s financial market.
When this reporter contacted worldRemit customer support in London, an agent called Marilyn responded: “I am afraid that due to local issues we are unable to send to Gambia for the moment.”
WorldRemit is the awardee of the ‘Best European Money Transfer Company’, enabling migrants and experts to easily and cost-effectively send remittances to family and friends using a variety of payment options including debit cards, credit cards and local payment methods.
The immediate suspension of the small West African country from the list of countries eligible to benefit from WorldRemit has raised some eye brows among many Diaspora Gambians, with many questioning Jammeh’s economic theory – Jammehnomics – and the future of their country.
Whilst the budge continue to hinder the economy of the small impoverished nation of 1.8 million that depends more on remittance inflows than export, many migrants and expats are wondering where the country is heading to under the current status quo.
The masses continue to wallow in poverty; prices of basic goods are taking upward swing; the gap between the rich and the poor shows no sign of decreasing; and the country’s political realm seems to be at chaos.
Whilst the country’s currency continues to nosedive against international currencies, the government moves abruptly to close three major money transfer services, blaming ‘speculation’ by operators in the foreign exchange market for exerting pressure on the exchange rate.
Made up of a populace that depends heavily on remittance – money send from abroad –, the current economic conundrum is ultimately affecting thousands of lives in a country where three third of the population are unable to keep their heads above water.
“Normally, when you check in the list of countries, you have ‘Gambia’ immediately after ‘Gabon’. But today when I checked I didn’t see my country. Immediately my mind goes to what is happening back home,” says Modou Njie, a Gambian immigrant living in Karlsham, Northern Sweden.
Mr Njie said even at 12pm he could open his laptop and make a transfer to The Gambia without visiting an agent. “This has actually made the idea of sending money via WorldRemit very comfortable, fast and cheap.”
Njie, like many other immigrants who came to Europe to earn their breads, have been saddened by the move taken by President Jammeh to heal the country’s ailing economy.
With businesses fleeing the country and the new tax – Value Added Tax (VAD) – raising the specter of broader economic hardship, Gambians are becoming more dependence on remittance to keep the wolf away from the door.