Wednesday, February 8

Touma Njie Urges NAMS Not to Accept   Budget Proposal

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By Mustapha Jarju

National Assembly Member for Banjul South Fatoumatta Touma Njie speaking before the 4th Ordinary Session of the National Assembly Budget Session said National Assembly Members are elected to serve their   people, but not to feed themselves and their families with the taxpayers money.

Touma Njie’s statement came after the ministry of finance submitted a budget estimate for 2023 to the Assembly, which indicated about 100% increment for the National Assembly members, which sparked conflicting opinions from the public.

“When I saw this budget estimate for the speaker and other NAMs, I feel embarrassed; I do not want to come to this budget session because I said to myself there is no need, because we are just sharing the cake in our pockets and going home feeding ourselves,” said Touma Njie, while referring to the 1997 constitution .

Banjul South NAM Njie added that the statement of the Minister of Finance and the way the government allocated the budget estimate for 2023 shows that the government has no plan to nurture the children in the country.

She argued that the six billion dalasi for   salaries alone, which does not include the administrative cost, considering the Gambia as a poor country does not tally with the current reality in the country.

“We should be investing in education and health rather than paying ourselves, feeding ourselves out of the poor people of this country. The salary of the Speaker of the National Assembly increased from six hundred and fifty eight thousand five hundred and thirty four (658, 534, 00) to one million five hundred and sixty (1,560,000.00), which is totally miscalculated,’ she argued.

Touma Njie has also questioned the commitment and willingness of President Adama Barrow and his government on the implementation of the Truth Reconciliation, and Reparation Commission (TRRC) recommendations and asked the speaker whether the president not willing to implement the recommendation, noting that the 2023 budget does not include TRRC.

“I am not against anyone but we suffered for 22years and after that in 2016 we thought we are embarking on a change, the honourable president imposed certain people on us and I think that was deliberate so that we will not implement recommendations of the TRRC,” Banjul South NAM stressed.