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City of Banjul
Sunday, February 28, 2021

Hamat says D1 billion plus spent by OP

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At a press conference held at his party’s headquarters on Wednesday, he explained: “The Office of the President has spent almost D460 million as supplementary appropriation when the usual budget or the amount budgeted for the office for the year was about D600 million. This is what was supposed to take them from January 1 to December 31 with both dates inclusive by virtue of the appropriation act of the National Assembly. This was the law that was passed to permit government to spend from the Consolidated Funds. It is called the Appropriation Act of 2014. That law stipulated D600 million for the Office of the President but now after all that money being spent, they had an extra expenditure of almost D460 million. This is for the same office in the same year and now we are talking about a billion dalasis for the Office of the President. Let me get you the exact figures on records. The Office of the President on celebrations, it has spent D86, 377,800. Others are: travelling expenses [crew salary, insurance and air ticket] for D135,000,000; general service [hotel accommodation] for D95,000,000; purchase of fuel for D30,000,000; motor vehicles for the Office of the President for D112,595,713; maintenance of buildings [lightings on the works of the executive block], for D500,000. It gives you a total of D459, 473,513 for the Office of the President and this is only on a supplementary appropriation. 

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“Coming to celebrations, we all know the independence anniversary this year was not celebrated. It was decentralised as if nothing was happening. What other celebration did we get? The July 22nd and they are quoting D86, 000,000 here as national celebration. So we all know now how much they have spent on celebrating it . What are they celebrating when Gambians are finding it extremely difficult to put one square meal on the table and when our student graduates have no jobs, the majority of our youths to avoid the ‘back way’, our farmers are struggling with 75 percent decline in agricultural production, most people of urban poor are finding it difficult to feed their families, most people are out of jobs because companies are closing down and we are facing the threat of Ebola and a serious downward trend in tourism! We call this serious fiscal abuse of national resources. It is unacceptable. Let me tell you, this one billion dalasi plus was borrowed through local finance called the treasury bills…” 

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