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City of Banjul
Monday, October 2, 2023

Vehicles for NAMS – What seems to be the Complication?

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By Lamino Lang Comma

There are traditionally three arms of government – Executive, Judiciary and Legislature. What types and number of vehicles are available for mobility to the Executive and Judiciary? One should consider the three Arms of Government within the context of a Balanced Separation of Powers, Comfort and/or Necessity. 

In that case, one may ask, what’s the comparison for a NAM periodically travelling to Wuli as against the members of the other arms of government with their movements within the urban area.  Has anyone figured out the difficulty of touring a constituency? The issue must not be looked at from the budgetary point of view and the economic circumstances alone. 

The question is why the NAMS – the closest reps of the grassroots – should be the ones to sacrifice necessity in the performance of duty.  Mobility is a necessity for NAMs. The attempt to introduce a vehicle control policy was vehemently rejected by the Executive.  That policy would have generated a lot of savings on the cost of fuel and maintenance. The non-GG vehicle registration for the NAMs would be savings on fuel and maintenance cost as opposed to the GG vehicles used by the other arms of government that slap the same cost on the budget.

The advocacy for budgetary stringency should be focused on the other privileged arms of government that should sacrifice and shed some of their privileges in order to create savings for a very much deserving sister institution – the legislative arm.  There are officers in those institutions provided with utility vehicles apart from the official ones. The provision of vehicles could be seen more like a matter of principle and a balanced policy on allocation of resources for the separated powers.

The NAMs deserve good and equally comfortable mobility in a comparative manner for their long haul to their constituencies otherwise one should advocate to bring down the level and type of mobility of the other arms of government to the same level with the legislature. Better still, it would not have been out of place to make provision for accommodation and private office facility with researcher and secretarial staff for NAMs as obtains in other countries.  Even the colonial administration provided a rest house in Banjul (Leman Street) for Seyfolu visiting the city.  That may not be the point here.  It is only a reminder that one should consider the functions of an institution and to provide it with the necessary support, capacity and motivation.  That is not out of place.

The question is – do NAMs deserve to be adequately mobile for their periodic travels to and touring of their constituencies apart from other performance of duty? It is not a case of two wrongs don’t make a right for a case of an economic stringency policy. It is better to right an existing wrong of overspending within the other arms of government than to advocate for a non-implementation of a right in the provision of a necessity for an equally important institution with a laborious task.

Just Thinking Aloud

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