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Wednesday, October 21, 2020

GAP urges Barrow to explain fate of millions of grants and loans since 2017

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By Omar Bah

The Gambia Action Party has raised concern about “the extravagant nature of the Barrow administration”, urging the president to explain what has become of all the monies the country received in grants and loans since assuming office in 2017.

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In a statement signed by its first deputy leader, Omar Beyai, the party said: “The government cannot judiciously implement transparency, accountability and proper administrative governance without the Anti-Corruption Commission that will be monitoring all the movements of the government.”

GAP further argued: “Corruption undermines security, prosperity, democracy and confidence in public institutions. Left unchecked, it can have devastating effects on citizens’ quality of life at home and overseas. These effects, including poverty and inequality, hit the most vulnerable people hardest.”

“Our source has confirmed that since 2017, the loans and grants given to the Barrow-led government is more than four hundred and forty-one million dollars ($441m) and fifty-five million euros (€55m) equivalent coupled with twenty-five billion four hundred and sixty million dalasi (D25, 460 billion ).”

To illustrate its argument, the party came up with a rundown of, as it claimed, monies given to President Barrow since he took office.

GAP said: “On June 29, 2020 – $43 million World Bank Grant for NAWEC, June 4, 2020 – $35 million World Bank Grant for Fiscal Management Development Project, May 14, 2020 – $30 Million World Bank Grant for Advance Reforms in the Electricity and Telecom Sectors, April 15, 2020 – $21.3 Million IMF for Covid19, April 2, 2020 – $10 Million World Bank Grant for Covid19, March 13, 2020 – $47.1 Million IMF Extended Credit Facility, February 26, 2020 – US $12m from the Saudi Fund for Development (SFD) to upgrade and modernize the Banjul International Airport, November 26, 2019 – $12 Million World Bank Grant Support for Higher Education and Economic Transformation, May 24, 2019 – $30 million World Bank Grant for Social Safety Net Project, November 8, 2018 – €55 Million from the EU for budgetary support, May 15, 2018 – $41 million World Bank Grant Electricity Restoration and Modernization Project, March 28, 2018 – $35 Million World Bank Grant Education Sector Support Program, October 14, 2017 – $45 Million  ITFC (IsDB Group) for NAWEC, June 30, 2017…. $30.8 Million World Bank Credit Emergency Response to Consolidate Stability in The Gambia, June 30, 2017…. $25.2 Million World Bank Grant Emergency Response to Consolidate Stability in The Gambia, June 26, 2017… $16.1 Million IMF Extended Credit Facility, January 9, 2017 – $3.2 Million World Bank Credit Maternal and Child Nutrition and Health Results Project, January 9, 2017 – $4.3 Million World Bank Grant Maternal and Child Nutrition and Health Results Project.”

The party demanded the government to explain how these monies were spent and the impact they made.

“We demand the quickest explanation in detail from the government and also work on the establishment of the Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) or they face the full investigation of the GAP led administration. GAP believes in transparency, accountability, equality and openness in all matters relating to the public affairs,” the party concluded.

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