Gov't is still committed to ECOWAS single currency ---- Says Finance Minister

Jul 20, 2020, 11:17 AM | Article By: Ismaila Sonko

The minister for Finance and Economic Affairs has informed lawmakers that the government of The Gambia is still committed to the actualisation of the ECOWAS single currency (Eco).

Mambury Njie maintained that as part of the set macro-economic convergence criteria to assess performance, The Gambia continues to meet three of the four primary convergences - inflation, Central Bank financing of the budget and the gross reserve and one of the two secondary convergences - exchange rate variation since 2017.

He made this disclosure on Wednesday while responding to questions from deputies at the National Assembly.

The Gambia, he said, is missing the budget deficit under the primary convergence criteria and debt to GDP ratio under the secondary convergence criteria.

"Yet this has placed The Gambia amongst the best performing countries towards the regional integration process of the single currency," he said. 

Minister Njie indicated that the coming of the Eco would significantly help the country in regional integration process because The Gambia is a country with limited resources.

He also informed deputies that the implementation of the National Development Plan (NDP) is progressing, and so far a total of $199.57 million has been disbursed towards the implementation of the NDP, representing a 12% disbursement rate of the pledged amount.

He further stated that duty collected on rice imports for 2017 amounted to D192.4 million. 

"However, the duty on rice in 2018 was zero rate, and hence there was no payment of duty on rice imports".

Minister Njie stated that the revenue lost to waiving taxes on rice amounted to D305.1 million in 2019.