By Burama Jammeh
Part I: Understanding 2023 Appropriation Bill
Fair analysis of the annual budget of The Independent Democratic Republic of The Gambia must be premised on the undeniable facts that The Sovereign People of The Gambia pay taxes (kafuung kafuungo/ozussou) for the primary procurement of their common welfare needs/wants. All immediately costs incurred to realize these effects must be proportionally appropriate and minimal. Under no circumstances such costs should consume larger proportion of our collections.
|Abridged 2023 Budget Projections (in GMD Billions)|
|Total Domestic Revenue||16.89|
· Budget Support
· Project Grants
|Costs of Government
· Personnel Emoluments
· Recurring costs
· Capital Expenditures
|7.13||13.27 (12.70 excluded)|
· Interest Payment
· Amortized Principal Repayment
|Total Debt Servicing||????|
|Cash Balance (±)||2.75 (preliminary)|
These are numbers obtains from online newspapers. There is some possibilities the actual numbers could vary for one reason or another.
I couldn’t yet find a copy (pdf) of the draft bill. Working on it…….
Tax revenues of D13.92bn (about 10% of GDP) from an estimated GDP of US$2.3m (roughly D150bn) taxed at an average rate of 70% is a joke. We should be raking in ± D105bn (around 70% of GDP). Where is our money? Corruption/leakages, no collection, poor collection, poor financial management, etc.
This budget will run into deficit with the promised spending of D35.41bn against total revenues of only D28.72. The budget deficit at this point will be D28.72bn – D35.41bn = (6.69bn)
Gambia government costs 79% (13.27/16.89 x 100) of domestic revenue. Is that acceptable to you/us? Do we exist to feed the government and/or they are created to serve us?
The Minister of Finance in his deliberations reported that the promised 2022 ‘Budget Supports’ from WB, EU, AFD & ADB did not materialized. His words – not mine; yet he/they estimated almost the same exact same amounts from the same sources for 2023 budget support. We want to see Variance/Utilization Report on the entire 2022 budget that demonstrates the projections versus actuals
Inclusion of D11.83bn of Project Grants is simply ‘Account-Padding’. These goes directly to ear-marked projects agreed with donor – thus inclusion/credit under revenues will cancel/debit at Projects. And that is even a mute-point. Some/many/most of these Projects are not directly handle by government such as Yeli/Bamba Bridge, Independent Stadium, GGFPC, etc. Why fatten the numbers with numbers you don’t hold and not at liberty to spend as we may wish. They ought to be reported differently/separately
Numbers of debt servicing do not feature (and/or not clearly on any of my sources). I will complete the matrix when I get some concrete numbers. Their inclusion will only worsen our bottom-line
Although not entirely clear, I want to consider D12.70bn capital expenditure as program/development budget (people’s business) rather than overhead costs. Certainly, that is categorically not true, but I have no way of separating the 2 at this point
Even with our incomplete matrix thus far, does this budget serve the utmost interest of The Sovereign People of The Independent Democratic Republic of The Gambia?
Do you think is ok our representatives spend 79% of our collection (domestic revenue) on themselves?
Stay tuned for Part II – Analysis of Revenue. Let me know your view
To The Gambia Ever True