By Kebba AF Touray
The Majority Leader has supported the Revised National Budget tabled before the national assembly (NA) on Thursday July 6, 2017 before its approval by the law makers.
The Hon. Member for Kombo South, K K Barrow, hailed the finance Minister and his expert team for a job which he described to be a good one.
He called on his fellow law makers to attend all capacity building workshops to equip themselves with the knowledge that will be shared. He said the government has inherited an economy which he described as a broken economy which has to be fixed.
“We need to ensure that all the government structures are put in place to ensure that our people and bilateral donors listen to us so that genuine people will come and support us”, he said .
He also said this is an opportunity for them to put in place an oversight structure that will help the country so that it does not go back to the hitches of the past regime.
”Productivity in this country cannot be attained unless we put in more investment in agriculture” he said.
He added that some funds have been invested into the agricultural sector but they are utilized by few individuals thereby deviating from the intended purposes.
He decried the fact that over a thousand (1000) tractors have been supplied to the country for agricultural production, but those tractors cannot be traced now as they have now become individual properties. He added that there is no accountability and one cannot say how the revenue collected from these tractors has been beneficial to the state.
He added that issues of non-accountability have confronted the agricultural sector making it have low output.
He cited the Local Government Act of 2002 which he said mandated the Gambian people to decentralise and work towards the development of this country, so that organisational programmes and the activities of the government can be decentralized.
What we need to put to the Hon. Minister and his expert team is that fiscal discipline is implemented to the letter.
On corruption, he said that it has to be stopped.
He made reference to monies owed to Social Security, including Nawec which amounts to the ‘alarming amount’ of nine billion dalasis. He noted that all these have been given to them with conditions but executive directors have taken the chunk of the money from the country’s economy and this is what led the country to be more indebted.
He expressed concerns over the use of state funds by the former regime, for a party that he says was not working in the best interest of the Gambian people. He also said that shows that there was no financial discipline in the past 22 years of the former regime.
He said that his constituency has been affected by sand mining over the past years, from Tujereng to Kartong, the Carnegie Company has been extracting heavy metal for eight years and nobody knows how those funds are been used. He noted that this and related issues has caused the country to be retarded in its growth in economy.
He urged his fellow NAMs to stand firm for the people of The Gambia to get the country from these crises and urged all to be patient with the current government, adding that it is a new government. He also appealed to the Minister of Finance to come up with more capacity building programmes.