By Yusef Taylor, @FlexDan_YT
According to the 2024 Executive Budget Proposal tabled in Parliament last week the newly created offices for Executive Coordinators for Banjul and Kanifing Municipal Council (KMC) will cost the government over D1 Million in basic salaries and allowances. Meanwhile, Governors’ Offices in five other regions will cost Taxpayers over D1 million each per region.
Combined, the five governor offices in the regions and the two newly established offices in Banjul and KMC will cost taxpayers over D7.92 million in 2024 as opposed to D6.86 million in 2023. Looking at the Workforce Budget it can be seen that the governor’s offices in all regions have increased significantly with a total of 36 new staff joining the 2024 Payroll. The region which has increased the greatest number of staff is Central River Region which added 7 new staff on its payroll.
The figures quoted in this publication don’t include other expenses such as vehicles, fuel and maintenance and other expenses such as travel and per-diems.
The President recently appointed Executive Coordinators for Banjul and KMC which has been met with significant public debate on the legality of the President’s appointment. However, one thing highlighted in the Budget is that both offices are shown to have been allocated Approved Salaries for 2023 and Estimated Salaries for 2024 which appears very strange given that these two offices have only been Gazetted in November 2023.
The Offices of the Executive Coordinator for Banjul and KMC are both earmarked to spend D538,353 in basic salary and allowances for 2024. Meanwhile, the Workforce Budget notes that both offices should have spent D532,430 each in basic salaries and allowances for 2023.
Both offices will have three staff each including a personal assistant and a records clerk. However, the recent appointment indicates that a Deputy Executive Coordinator has also been appointed for KMC which has not been included in the Workforce Budget. In addition to this, no driver or additional staff have been included in the budget for the two newly established offices in Banjul and KMC. Below is a table culled from the Workforce Budget highlighting the additional cost of establishing the two new offices.
In addition, our report highlights the cost of maintaining the offices of governors in other regions, which also consume a significant amount of taxpayers’ funds.
It’s important to note that the 2024 Executive Budget Proposal is currently under Parliamentary Review and is subject to amendments. If they so wish these figures could be revised before Parliamentary approval.