By Kaddy Jawo
In a stunning revelation on Wednesday during the adjournment debate at the National Assembly, Finance Minister Mambury Njie, told lawmakers that the government has spent D239, 923, 034. 4 on travels from January to July this year.
Giving breakdowns, he said the president spent D18, 319, 667 on his recent Meet The People’s Tour while his office spent D116, 069, 926 on travels. The general service expenditure on charter flights from January to July he said was D23, 733, 459 while the lawmakers spent D12, 460, 022 on travels over same period. He said his own ministry also spent D20, 540, 555 on travels within the same period.
Realising the situation as anomalous, Minister Njie said, “We intend to reduce travel expenses because the ratio of business class ticket cost to economy class cost is 3:1.”
The finance minister further told lawmakers that from June 2008, Social Security & Housing Finance Corporation disbursed loans to staff amounting to D136, 32461. 39 out of which only D9, 081, 550. 40 was recovered leaving an outstanding balance of D127, 243100. 99.
He added that SSHFC is the sole owner of The Gambia Transport Services Corporation.
Editors note: The minister told the National Assembly that D230 million was spent but when we computed the figures, it amounted to D239 million.