By Nfansu Camara
Corruption is a dangerous and pernicious disease that has been battled with high intensity by people who cared to fight against it. It can never be disputed that corruption is to be found in every society but the reason why corruption continues to thrive and blossom in the country and the continent by extension is because the looters are consistently allowed to swim in the ocean of impunity and rationalization of ill-gotten wealth.
As a concerned citizen of Basse administrative region, it’s within my constitutional discretion to express my opinion on any emerging issues that forever confront my people and the established institutions responsible in catering and bettering the lives of my people. As dispatched by the council, the whopping financial threshold that shall be subjected to the approval of the general council is, in my holistic view, one of the determinants of these endless financial lootings that have obstructed the development pace of the region.
The resolution of the council as captured in the press statement indicated that, any exorbitant financial expenditure amounting to one million dalasis shall be subjected to the approval of the general council. It’s very important to brainstorm the fashion of resolutions we unanimously passed into law, because, some are used to abuse the due process that ought to be followed and adhered to. The one million thresholds will come, without a modicum of doubt, once in a while and any amount below the stipulated threshold will not be subjected to the approval of the general council.
This is another channel through which corruption is given its illegal pride of place in our administrative dealings. How many spendings below the stipulated threshold for the approval of the general council are recorded? How were/are those spendings checked and approved hence they did not attain the required standard of general approval?
As a devoted citizen of the region, the threshold for general approval should be brought down to at least D20,000 or so, to mitigate the unending corrupt practices within the council. Movingly, every expenditure or spending no matter what amount is required should be subjected to the approval of the general council.
As I comprehended the resolution in the press statement, any spending below the threshold of one million dalasis will not be subjected to the approval of the general council. If that stands to be factual, how are those spendings vetted, scrutinized and approved? In whose administrative discretion are they to be approved hence they did not attain the stipulated threshold as enshrined in the council’s resolution?
The ongoing local government commission has unearthed frivolous financial embezzlements of council’s funds and how we have seen and heard meritocracy was disregarded and downplayed within the council. People are employed without attaining the required academic standards. One who is employed through the office of kleptocracy will not serve the interest of the people he or she represents.
To mitigate the issues of endemic corruption and administrative underperformance, positions should be allocated based on meritocracy instead of mediocrity or nepotism. I sincerely believe in the current administration under the auspicious of Hon. Ceesay in trying to correct the ills of the past and present for better service delivery to the people.
In addition, the council should now graduate from the manual collection of taxes and duties and usher in an automated system, whereby, a market vendor can uninterruptedly trek to any designated bank to effect his or her duties and taxes levied on him or her. Manual collection of revenues not only cripples the financial muscle of the council but also leads to slow pace when it comes to the execution of its developmental policies.
As I intend to influence the decision of policymakers in a positive manner, the council should be very measured in passing certain sensitive resolutions because some, within themselves, serve as determinants of endemic corruption. Over the past weeks, there are endless alleged corrupt practices in almost all local government councils ranging from Brikama Area Council, Kanifing Municipal Council to Basse Area Council (my own administrative council).
As the council started the crusade of making itself a corrupt-free council, if certain administrative measures are considered and reconsidered, the council will leapfrog the predicaments it is currently faced with. It’s quite unarguable to say that, corruption cannot be fought in a dramatic fashion but we have to subscribe to the gradualist school of thought. With gradualism, anything is attainable.