By Fatou Dahaba
A resource person from the ministry of Finance told journalists that the GRA’s monthly revenue was about 900million to 1billion which has drop to 600 to 700 million, and in March alone tere was a loss of D3.2 Billon, Mya Azzi was delivering at a sensitization session organized by GPU.
As part of its efforts in building the capacity of journalists on the National Budget, The Gambia Press Union has recently held a virtual briefing sessions for journalists with the Ministry of Finance and Economic Affairs and National Audit Office.
The main objective is to enhance the understanding of journalists and increase the coverage of budgetary issues.
Mya Azzi resource person from the Ministry of Finance said in budget preparations, it does not only involve ministry of Finance but MDAs are also involved.
She explained that at the execution process her ministry don’t give the exact allocated budget to a particular ministry at a go but rather process by process.
During the question and answer session when asked about the impact of covid-19 on Gambian revenue, she said in March alone they lost about 3.2 billion in revenue.
Mya added that then GRA’s monthly revenue was about 900million to 1billion which has drop to 600 to 700million.
About transparency, she said her ministry has monitoring and evaluation unit (M&E) that monitor and evaluate the entire process.
Lamin Jahateh, Program Manager GPU said these sessions were designed to bring some key national institutions to explain their roles in budget development and execution process.
He added that the sessions with the two institutions were part of series of sensitization workshop that the Union organize with key institutions in the national budget development and execution process such as Central Bank of The Gambia, Accountant General’s Office, and the National Assembly.
‘These engagements are part of a project the GPU is implementing to support journalists to effectively report on the national budget. The project is supported by the International Republican Institute as part of efforts to further promote fiscal transparency and accountability in the Gambia.’
Jahateh also disclosed that GPU will financially and technically support journalists to report on the national budget so as to increase the dissemination of public information on the budget.
Sering Mass Jallow and Bubacarr Jallow were the two resource persons from National Audit Office who spoke about the role and mandate of their office.
Mass Jallow said part of their mandate the Auditor General has the responsibility to audit the accounts of all government institutions, local government authorities and other public bodies.
He added that they are not involve in the budget preparation but task to audit the execution process whether it is in accordance with what is budgeted.
He urged the National Assembly to help them implement their recommendations as they are fighting for corruption. He further said they forward some complain to the IGP for investigation with regards to lapses from public institutions.
The virtual sessions were attended by 20 journalists from the newspapers, radio, and television, and online news media.