The Supplementary Appropriation Bill (SAP) is before the members of the National Assembly for consideration and government is seeking their blessing to approved the SAP and pass for implementation.
Yes the honourable Minister for Finance relied on section 153 (1) of the 1997 Constitution of the Republic of The Gambia, which requires the honourable Minister of Finance and Economic Affairs to lay before the National Assembly a Supplementary Estimate in the event a need arose for a purpose for which no amount has been appropriated by an Act.
What is before the Assembly is a request for D3.4 BILLION? , for government be given that permission carryout some projects. The members of the National Assembly were on the 8th of July asked by the Finance Minister to be given approval to spend D3.4 Billion. These are projects and expenditures that government wants to undertake as such expenditures are not in the 2020 approved budget.
The members of the Assembly have committed the propose Bill to the Assembly’s Finance and Public Accounts Committee (FPAC) for scrutiny. The Committee will report to the plenary today for their action.
This paper is privilege to hold a copy of the report of the FPAC, and the said SAP is now reduced by 1.3 Billion, and proposing another D608,291,841.25 to take care of the Ministry of Health, Finance reporting oversight, the Rural and Urban roads and supports to Councils in terms of salary as most councils lost a lot of income during these period of COVID-19.
The question now before our law makers is , whether monies that are set aside for this Supplementary Appropriation Bill, commonly called SAP is in their proper place or not. Do we at this time and moment need to give money to the government to carryout major construction work, when COVID-19 is still around and we do not know when COVID -19 will go? Do we as a government have to spend all our monies on construction of roads in this trying moments of COVID-19?
The ball is in the court of our law makers but we expect that they will make a good decision as to whether monies should be given for constructions of roads or build good health facilities rather roads for now.
In other West African counties except for the Gambia and Guinea Bissau they have built what is called STAY SAFE HOMES these are places which are fully equipped with medical facilities and houses those quarantined and is making a lot of saving for them. Here we are paying at least D32, 000 per person at various hotels they are quarantined for the 14 days period.