President, congratulation for the successful meeting you had with EU official
It was gratifying to note that the international community stated their support to The Gambia’s National Development Plan (NDP) for the period of 2018 to 2021, an ambition blueprint and development approved by the government in January 2018, an amount of 1.45 billion Euros pledge. We pray that the pledges be used for the intended purposes.
Mr. President, we would like to thank the international partners, such as European Union (EU) and UNDP for coming in time to assist The Gambia boost its economy and implement vital projects.
Mr. President, this assistance is very timely and in the right direction for The Gambia. The authorities in charge should now start placing the interest of the country first. We should give priorities to electricity and water, agriculture, improvement of health sector, infrastructure, tourism, human resources, capacity building and creation of employment to avoid youth migration. The civil servants should be motivated and their salaries reviewed, up to now some of the government departments like health and others did not receive the thousand dalasis monthly transport allowance which was announced by the Finance minister at the Assembly in December last year. Funds from our development partners must be duly used and well accounted for. The funding institution or body must receive appropriate feedback on all expenditures and disbursements from the funds.
Mr. President, the authorities would be held responsible for any missing funds of the funding programme. With the incoming of enormous funds from EU, we are expecting the government to put in place a vibrant monitoring group. Monitoring group like the media must be well equipped with the most eligible personnel and equipments to facilitate their effectiveness in their operations. Media must be able to employ high caliber personnel capable of providing absolute financial information to the understanding of the ordinary people with a minimum educational background.
Mr. President, we are the watchdog of government and ambassador of the voiceless people. Government should work tirelessly on improving water and electricity supply that we suffered since 1977. The roads in the country are very bad, especially the internal roads, where people have managed to build homes, yet there are no passage roads, and this is very inconvenient in times of rainy seasons. We can use these funds to better improve our roads, improve our educational system by taking good care of our teaching staff as well as other auxiliary expenditures such as providing school buses for schools and studying equipment.
Mr. President, we need to understand that the transportation is another piecing problem and Gambia Transport Service Company (GTSC) is not enough, without proper car parks and well made roads, no vehicles can last long due to irregular repairs, due to bad roads. There is need for a vibrant monitoring institution to effectively provide information and awareness to all Gambians on the usage of public funds. These monitoring institutions must be properly and adequately equipped for better results.
Mr. President, strict financial resources should be applied. We commend you for cutting the size of your delegation and taking commercial flight for the second time. Expenditures on travelling by government officials should be minimized, cutting fuel supply and cars. Minimize always the size of your delegation.
With good roads and energy The Gambia will be the supermarket of the sub-region. Commercial banks should reduce their charges on loans and overdrafts to enable people to do banking.
Mr. President, as mentioned in our previous Good Mornings, sports cannot be developed without funds and we witness how delighted you were when Gambia was crowned champion of WAFU U-20. We expect sports will not be forgotten especially football.
Mr. President, security is paramount. Security personnel should be equipped with arms and ammunition, transport, mobile phones and have good incentives when they curb criminals. We appeal to the Arab countries, China, Japan, Turkey and the United States of America to rescue Gambia in its immediate basic needs.
Finally, Mr. President, pay attention to Jahanka village in CRR where a problem resulted to fight between two border villages of Gambia and Senegal. As a result of the fight, an officer of The Gambia Fire and Rescue Services, Ansumana Drammeh was shot in his legs.
Few months back there was a repeated case in Jimara district were Senegalese forestry officers reportedly attack Sare Jawbeh village in URR which resulted to the injure of three including an immigration officer. Therefore, we cannot let this continue between the two sister countries. It is high time the authorities of the two countries to sit and solve the matter amicably with a view to avert bloodshed.
Have a very good day, Your Excellency