By Alagie Manneh
The National Unity Party on Friday unveiled its candidate Aboulie Jammeh as well as the party’s objectives and programmes at the American International University in Kanifing.
In his maiden address, Mr Jammeh, a former director general of the Gambia Civil Aviation Authority, said the NUP will abrogate laws which give a sitting president powers to nominate the Speaker and four members to the National Assembly if it takes power in December.
He said this is necessary to “safeguard the autonomy” of the National Assembly, “coupled with our desire to pursue the doctrine of separation of powers”.
Mr Jammeh added that an NUP government will reduce the number of ministries to cut and reinvest any savings to priority projects in education, health and agriculture.
“We will also rationalise the use of government vehicles by setting up a new team headed by a technically competent fleet controller to manage the procurement, allocation, maintenance and disposal of government vehicles. We will review all fisheries agreements and licenses issued to foreign entities with a view to rationalising the exploitation of this vital resource and ensure maximum participation of and benefits to the Gambian people as well as provide better incentive packages for industrial fishing companies that are committed to job creation for Gambians,” he said.
In a bid to close the gap in business opportunities in The Gambia and reduce the rural-urban drift, Mr Jammeh went on, an NUP Government will review the investment legislation to introduce zero tax payment in respect of Corporation tax for a period of 10 years for businesses with capital investments valued at US$250,000 or D12.5 Million and above, in specifically designated areas in the country.
He also said the NUP will look to establish a National Health Insurance Scheme to provide accessible healthcare to all Gambians. “Therefore we will consult on the establishment of legislation for the scheme as a matter of urgency. NUP will also put emphasis on irrigation agriculture to maximise agricultural production and productivity and to ensure that agricultural activity is undertaken throughout the whole country on an all-year round basis.”
Jammeh said they will actively promote youth self-employment in all forms of agricultural activity especially in horticulture, poultry and small ruminant production through the revival and strengthening of the Young Farmer Clubs. “These clubs could be the conduit for Government support as well as support from other partner organisations,” he said.