By Adama Makasuba, edited by Yusef Taylor, @FlexDan_YT
Gambian National Assembly Members (NAMs) reached a deadlock on D1 Billion dalasis Supplementary Appropriation (SA) bill, tabled this Tuesday by the Minister of Finance and Economic Affairs. The main reason they couldn’t make a decision was that the assigned committee did not complete scrutiny of the SA bill.
Last week Gambian NAMs approved the 2019 Budget estimates to the tune of D25 Billion Dalasis. With just over two weeks to go, the Gambian Government is apparently penniless with no option but to request for more money to complete the remainder of its 2018 works.
This Tuesday, Minister of Finance and Economic Affairs, Honourable Mambury Njie tabled the SA bill in parliament which was referred to the house committee on finance and public account for further scrutiny and tasked to report their findings to the National Assembly (NA) today. However, the committee has yet to finish their investigations adjourning the decision on the SA bill to tomorrow, Thursday 13th December 2018.
Raising the question if an unrealistic deadline was set for the NA sub-committee? In either case, adjourning meetings comes at a cost to Gambian taxpayers.
“Honorable members we will recall that the supplementary estimates were tabled yesterday by the Honorable Minister for Finance and Economic Affairs for consideration. It was then referred to the finance and public account committee for further scrutiny for the committee to report back to preliminary,” speaker Mariama Jack-Denton said.
She added: “the committee met yesterday but unfortunately it could not complete its work. We decided this morning but we discovered that they have a lot of work to address as a result of which it cannot present the report to the preliminary, and I am sure that you will agree with me that the time was actually relatively short.”
The government announced 50% salary increment for government civil servants and 100% pension increment but reports have shown that about 47 percent of Gambia’s revenue comes from grants and aid.
Trying to justify this increment the Minister of Finance and Economic Affairs Mambury Njie, said the SA bill is as a result of changes in user charges and fees of government services coupled with performances in Project grants and budget.
More to follow this week.