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City of Banjul
Friday, September 18, 2020

MINORITY LEADER ACCUSES PAC/PEC OF ‘SELECTIVE JUSTICE’

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Jallow faulted the PAC/PEC for having blamed the Ministry of Finance for tabling reports before lawmakers which indicated some obscure payments being made without vouchers, noting that the approval of the recent supplementary appropriation bill tabled before lawmaker deserves similar scrutiny.  

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 “What the PAC/PEC committee is doing is not genuine because they are blaming the Ministry of Finance for giving out an account without payment vouchers. So, the parliament approving this bill means that we are doing the same thing that the Finance did. It was just recently when we put the Finance Ministry to task for paying over one billion dalasi without any supporting documents. I believe the best thing is to start scrutinising the Office of the President since we are seeing this sort of spending coming out of the highest office in the state. And I don’t believe that the Office of the President has lack of vehicles to justify spending an extra amount of over D112 million as was seen on the Supplementary Bill. We have also spent D86 million to open an embassy in Malaysia and I wonder what economic ties we have with Malaysia to justify opening an embassy there with such a huge amount. 

“This is why I advocated for our spending to be reduced and prioritised. There is no way we can minimise spending if we have two state houses in this country – Banjul and Kaninlai. Imagine the fuel cost of the number of vehicles they use on the presidential convoy when going to Kanilai every week. This is very expensive even if it were to be [once] every month,” he said.  

He declared that the recent Supplementary Appropriation Bill tabled before them in the National Assembly was “the most serious fiscal abuse” that has ever happened in the history of The Gambia. 

The independent NAM maintained: “Regarding the Supplementary Appropriation Bill, this is one of the most serious things that happened in this country. In 2012, there was an appropriation bill in parliament of D400 million and in 2013 we had it for D300 million which is reasonable. But looking at what happened this year, you cannot avoid the conclusion that this is one of the [biggest acts of] financial indiscipline in our history. There is no way one can justify it. Just imagine that by the first of December, we are tabling January 2015 to December 31st budget and barely two weeks to that, we are having this appropriation bill. This is serious especially under the Office of the President. Last time they were saying that the president was praising our Public Account Committee but for me, this praise is not genuine. You cannot praise the Public Accounts Committee avoiding yourself because the Office of the President is not accounted for because they are not reporting to that committee”.

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