By Omar Bah The Minister of Finance and Economic Affairs, Mambury Njie has revealed that The Gambia Government’s failure to implement the vehicle policy will cost the country over D234M annually. “The vehicle policy implication has an associated cost totaling D324, 260, 799 and the responding saving of the same amount annually,” Minister Njie told NAMs yesterday. The Minister further noted that the partial implementation of the vehicle policy resulted in the characterization of the cost and none realization of the savings. “The residential cost from July to November 2018 is D2.4M, transport allowance January to November 2018 D309, 408, basic car allowances January to November D2, 833, 600, provincial allowances July to November D9, 605, 199. The cumulative total is D324. 266. 799,” said Minister Njie. Asked by members whether the ministry has any plans to bring back the vehicle policy, he responded: “The Ministry is taking its time. Let me assure you that we will revisit that policy. There has always been a vehicle policy but it is all about enforcement. We are revisiting it, but we want to make sure that before we come back to the National Assembly we thoroughly make the assessment and look at ways and means of making sure that it is enforced and everybody will comply.” He said when this was being done many things were not factored, example the ministries of health and agriculture which are sectoral ministries, will be handicapped by the vehicle policy. “These are some of the things that we want to address. We are looking at it, but it is not our responsibility to be the policeman. We can only come up with the policy initiative to really ensure we have the savings but we cannot go beyond that,” he clarified. The Ministry, he further revealed as of now, are still complying but the total compliance remains to be evaluated, adding that they want to make sure that the vehicle policy will always be there, “but we also want to ensure that it does not handicap the operation of any department.” Meanwhile, the NAM for Wuli West, Sidia Jatta in reaction to the minister’s assertions, said: “You see when you talk about the vehicle policy the first important thing to be talked about is the fact that the law that was made here was not implemented. It was partially implemented which was going against the law that was made by this assembly. If the vehicle policy was not possible to be implemented, the right thing to do is to say we want to revisit it, but it was not done and now you are talking about vehicle policy when this is the last month of that period. It is either it is fully implemented or it is not at all or you have to come back here and say what was decided was not possible, can we look at it again and that was not done. I hope you are not trying to do the same thing again.” In response, minister Njie agreed with Hon. Jatta and accepted that they have not done their work properly. “Your comments are well noted and we agree that it does not have to be done partially but what we never wanted to come back here without detailed information,” the minister said.]]>
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