By: Almamo Kamaso
The National Assembly Tuesday began adjournment debate with members imploring on government to redirect the national budget towards providing basic services and infrastructure.
The members took turns to call for the redirection of national budget towards road constructions, the provision of health services, health facilities and electricity supply to their electorates. Some also call for agriculture to be given the much-needed attention it deserves as it used to be the backbone of Gambian economy. The hon. member for Foni Jarrol, Alhagie Sankung Jammeh asked as to what was happening to the agricultural sector after 22 years of the Jammeh regime and the one year six months of the new Gambia.
Jammeh told members that if the former ruling APRC government was doing nonsense for 22 years, then the new regime should have been able to make out of that nonsense at least some sense. To his dismay, that was not the case as farmers of the country were still crying loud and clear that they have not gone anywhere. “No fertilizer, no farm equipment, no seeds and the list can go on and on,” he queried.
For his part, Hon. Foday N.M Drammeh of Tumana asked government to bring back Gambia’s cotton project as it was one of the most vital project that provided employment for those in that part of the country. He informed members that the project was closed in 2006 and since then to date, it has been a setback for Gambian economy. Hon Drammeh also called for the construction of road stretching from one point of his constituency to the other side dividing his constituency into two on which side, out of the 48 communities some 38 reside on that side.
Hon Mathar Jeng of Lower Nuime decried the poor services of the ferry operations. He tells members that it takes people more than four hours to cross from one end to the other these days. However, Hon Jeng told members that there were plans to move the ferry services from Gambia Ports Authority to another institution and that would be the worst thing to do.
Hon Jeng called for the empowerment of women as they are the most trusted group and if they are capacitated, they will deliver more than the men. He commended the womenfolk for their hard work as most of them will leave their men snoring on bed while they are busy in the streets early morning heading to the markets and farms.
Hon Sainey Touray of Jara East commended the security forces for holding the peace of the country. Touray condemned the youth of Brikama who attempted to take the law into their own hands by burning down the Brikama Police station in their quest to get the accused person for mob justice. He called for the people to allow the police to discharge their duties.
The Jara East MP called for government to complement the work of a philanthropist, a native of Dogoroba who built the health post from his pocket but that the health post is in dare need of resources. Hon Alhagie Sowe asked for an answer to: who gave power to one Dodou Sanno to give directives for arrests as recently he ordered for the arrests of some Alikalos (Village heads) in his constituency. Hon Sowe said even if he was to visit Jimara he is given police escort. He wants to know who gives that authority.
The honourable member for Banjul Central, Mohamed Ndow expressed dissatisfaction over the recent cabinet reshuffle and for him, President Barrow is ill advised. Honourable Demba Sowe of Niamina West Constituency said he was happy with the cabinet reshuffle made by President Barrow stressing that people have to deliver or risked being fired by the president. Sowe said Barrow has the power to hire and fire without explanation. Debate continues.
By: Almamo Kamaso