By Aji Fatou Faal
The National Assembly yesterday unanimously considered and approved the Central Bank of the Gambia (CBG) bill 2018.
Tabling the bill, Mambury Njie, Minister of Finance and Economic Affairs revealed that one of the most important agenda for the new government is to overhaul The Gambia’s Constitution.
He said during the drafting process, the CBG is hoping to make such input as to address discrepancies between the constitutional provisions relating to the CBG and international best practice, which inter alia guarantees the institutional, operational, financial and personal autonomy of central banks.
He said that since the constitutional review process may take long, the Bank had sought the indulgence of the relevant government authorities to amend the related provisions of the CBG Act that poses no conflict with the constitution as a matter of urgency.
Minister Njie highlighted that several instances of non-compliance with the CBG Act occurred in the past. “For Example (i) the CBG extended credit to the government beyond the statutory limit; (ii) the CBG also provided financing to State Owned Enterprises (SOEs) without statutory authorization, and (iii) the profits were not allocated to general reserve account. In order to enhance the CBG’s compliance mechanism, it is proposed to establish a position of legal compliance officer who reports to the Audit Committee at least quarterly,” he said.
He said if enacted the law would go align the CBG Act with international best practices and would enable the Bank to better able to carry out its mandate in a more effective and efficient manner.
Members scrutinized the bill properly and made some relevant amendments before passing it.