Dr. Ceesay challenges gov’t to shed light on how D143M is spent

Apr 24, 2020, 12:03 PM | Article By: Momodou Jawo

Dr. Ismaila Ceesay, the coordinator of the Crisis Relief Fund (CRF) which was launched yesterday by Citizens Alliance Party (CAP) has urged the Finance minister to explain to Gambians how the D143 million on covid-19 pandemic was spent.

“We are concerned that no coherent strategy was unveiled as to how the D500 million emergency funds for covid-19 will be used,” he said on Thursday at a local hotel in Senegambia.

The relief fund was designed at fighting the coronavirus pandemic in the country.

 “The minister of Finance’s recent statement that 143 million has already been used without properly accounting for how it was used is a cause for concern,” Dr. Ceesay opined. “We urge the minister to tell the Gambian people how this money was used and how the government intends to use the rest of the money. This must be done without delay.”

According to him, we must be able to rely on our government in times of crisis to manage our affairs, by digging deep into such a reserve budget put in place to relieve the most affected and the most vulnerable.

The primary responsibility of any serious government, he went on, is to provide leadership in times of crisis and to ensure the health, economic and social well-being of its citizens during pandemics of this nature and other disasters.

The aftershocks of covid-19, Mr. Ceesay continued, will pose a serious threat to our people.

He added: “In using this money, we urge the government to consider the economic support for Gambians badly affected by the pandemic, even those in the diaspora. Put a robust preparedness response in place whilst we prepare for the worst.”

“We must be ready for this by investing in training of medical personnel and providing the necessary equipment such as testing machines and ventilators.”

“Nonetheless, conspicuously missing in the government strategy, however, is a socio-economic response plan that would address the financial and economic impacts of this disease and the unexpected burden it places on our people and their livelihoods.”

Dr. Ceesay underlined that Citizens Alliance believes that the measures put in place by the government to contain the virus has the potential to cause adverse financial and economic impacts on our already poverty stricken population.

To help mitigate the effects of the measures, he outlined that government must adopt corresponding social and economic measures that will ensure that those affected are provided with a safety net by providing the most vulnerable direct financial support in the form of cash transfers and to support SME’s/businesses affected by the economic slowdown in the form of tax and import duty rebates, concessional loans and other economic stimulants.

“We believe that the measures introduced to contain covid-19 must be able to save lives at the same time protecting livelihoods. We can strike a balance between health security and economic security.”

The covid-19 pandemic, the UTG political science lecturer noted, has exposed the lack of foresights of our government and taught us lessons to forever remember on the importance of state preparedness in times of emergencies or crisis, that are beyond the control of any individual.

Read Other Articles In Headlines
NCAC aims to preserve birthplace of Gambian first president
Jun 29, 2020, 11:20 AM

To keep the country’s heritage for posterity, the National Centre for Arts and Culture (NCAC) has disclosed its collaboration with the family of late Sir Dawda Kairaba Jawara, first Gambian President, to complete the ongoing rehabilitation of the late president’s birthplace in Barajally Tenda, Central River Region.

Modou Njai
Covid-19 update Gambia confirms 2nd covid-19 death
Jun 22, 2020, 12:50 PM

The Gambia has registered the second death of covid-19, the director of Health Promotion and Education, Momadou Njai, confirmed to The Point.

Jammeh and OJ
O.J. slams APRC over Jammeh property claims
Jun 17, 2020, 12:29 PM

Omar Amadou Jallow alias O.J. has expressed satisfaction over the way government acted on the decision of The Gambia Court of Appeal, which called for the suspension of the sales of properties of former President Yahya Jammeh.

Mai Fatty v3
Mai Fatty calls for end to tribal bigotry
Jun 25, 2020, 12:02 PM

“An attack against any ethnicity is an attack against all. Tribal bigotry and hostility must not be permitted,” Mai Ahmad Fatty, the leader of Gambia Moral Congress told The Point.

Modou Njai
Gambia records 2 fresh cases of covid-19
Jun 9, 2020, 11:20 AM

Momodou Njai, the director of Health Promotion and Education has confirmed to this medium that two Gambian males have been tested positive of covid-19.

CSOs urge gov’t to drop charges against Madi Jobarteh
Jul 6, 2020, 12:49 PM

Civil Society Organisations (CSOs) in the country have strongly urged The Gambia government to drop charges against prominent human right activist, Madi Jobarteh, and to offer him an unconditional apology.

Hassan B. Jallow
CJ appoints coroner to probe death of prisoner at DLEAG cell
May 14, 2020, 12:31 PM

Hassan B. Jallow, the Chief Justice of The Gambia acting pursuant to the Coroner’s Act, Laws of The Gambia, has designated Her Worship Mrs. Isatou Janneh-Njie, Principal Magistrate Kanifing Magistrates’ Court, as Coroner to inquire the death of Mr. Januario Wande Beducande Findem, a Bissau Guinean national who was alleged to have committed suicide. He was reportedly arrested with cocaine by officers of the Drug Law Enforcement Agency, The Gambia (DLEAG) last month.

lack of water
Raneru residents vow to boycott upcoming elections if gov’t fails…
May 15, 2020, 11:59 AM

The residents of Raneru village in Sami District of the Central River Region (CRR) have vowed to boycott all national elections if government fails to bring development to their doorsteps.