Friday, September 22

Foreign travel ban covers all public institutions: Finance Minister

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The financial expert made the remarks while speaking on popular radio show ‘Coffee time with Peter’ on West Coast Radio on Tuesday. 

President Adama Barrow last week signed an executive order temporarily suspending all government foreign travels for the rest of the fiscal year, 2023 including his office.

According to the statement issued by the office of the Government Spokesperson, the Gambian leader took that decision to curb government expenditure. 

The Finance Minister Keita further stated the ban is not limited to main government institutions.

“I hasten to explain that this move is not limited to the civil service or the government per say. This is to the entire public funds. Any institution that is using public funds, this moratorium decision is binding on you,” Finance Minister Keita explained. 

He continued: “From parastatals to all agencies, directorates, subvented entities are all covered by this directive. 

“So it is not just for the core government per se but it’s for the entire economy wherever public resources are being utilised,” he clarified. 

President Barrow’s administration has faced significant criticism on foreign travels since assuming power. Notably, in 2018, government officials spent D239 million on travel expenditures, including per diems according to the Ministry of Finance and Economic Affairs. 

Thus, the recent move by his administration to suspend foreign travels has been widely welcomed by the population.