Friday, 21 December 2018

The National Assembly Members Should Desist From Constitutional Coup and Hijack

Readers could recall that The Gambia National Assembly Members approved the 2019 Budget estimates presented by Hon Mamburay Njie, Minister of Finance and Economic Affairs, to the tune of D25 Billion. Days later he presented a Supplementary Appropriation Bill at the tone of D1,128, 337, 519.77 with just over two weeks to the end of the financial year.

Which resulted in Activists, mainly Youth to occupy the National Assembly on Thursday, 13 December against the Supplementary Bill, to show their total dissatisfaction and rejection of the said, Supplementary Bill? Besides, the minister of Finance and Economic Affairs tabled the bill as legislators sparred over it at the legislative chamber with a hot debate which resulted in adjournment.

The last time I checked the Barrow led administration announced 50% salary increment for government civil servants and 100% pension increment but records have shown that as regards 47% of Gambia’s revenue comes from grants and aid.

The untold truth is, tabling the said SAB in December is a violation and subject to constitutional coup and hijack of section 154 (1) which reads, An act of National Assembly may make provision for the establishment of a Contingencies Fund and for authorising the President to make advances from that fund if he or she is satisfied that there has arisen an unforeseen and urgent need for expenditure for which no other provision exists:

Provided that the President shall not authorize any expenditure from the Contingencies Fund in excess of one per cent of the estimates approved by the National Assembly for the current year before he or she has caused a supplementary estimate in respect of such excess expenditure to be presented to the National Assembly.

Section 154 (2) reads; where any advance is made from the Contingencies Fund, a supplementary estimate shall be presented, and a Supplementary Appropriation Bill shall be introduced for the purpose of replacing the amount so advanced within ninety days of the advance being made.

The Barrow led Administration through its Ministry of Finance and Economic Affairs should tell the sovereign electorate why it needs additional D1.2 Billion Dalasis in less than 2 weeks before the end of the financial year. What kind of unforeseen and urgent need is the Government faced with to justify raising D1.2 Billion?

‘‘Of recent unconfirmed reports reaching us has it that the NAMs approved half of the proposed tabled Supplementary Appropriation Bill and a motion tabled by the Minister of Justice for an increment of Commissioners of the Janneh commission for D500,000 each, which is another waste of taxpayer’s money’’

Blogger/Political Activist

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