NAM Passed a Multi-million Dollar Loan Agreement With Concerns

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By National Assembly Correspondent
Members of the National Assembly on Monday ratified a loan agreement between the Gambia and Islamic bank for the process, production and marketing of small ruminant to benefit 39 districts in rural Gambia.
The loan is at the tune of 27.1million USA, with a grace period of seven years and 18 years to start payments of the loan. It is one without interest but with a service fee.
Laying the Motion before the members of the National Assembly the Finance Minister Mam Buray-Njia said the objective of the project is among other things to improve on the production and processing of ruminant in our districts. He said the focus will be on sheep and goats.
Members of the Assembly took turns to debate on the loan agreement and first was the member for Banjul North Hon Ousman Sillah who disagrees that members cannot make any amendments on the document. He also observes that only 3milion was going to the beneficiaries and asked the minister to see what should be done and adjusted that amount as its too small.
Contributing to the debate the honourable member for Sandu Hon Muhamad Mahanera said no country can develop out of loans and that it is high time we reconsider taking too much loan. Like others he also call for more to go to the beneficiaries too.
Several other members took the floor and said it is not bad to take loans but the loans must be put into good use. Many are of the opinion that government must put the loans into what they are meant for.
The issue of creating another project coordinating unit was not a welcome thing for the lawmakers. They advise was that let the project be managed by the Livestock services. However the loan was unanimously approved by members.

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