The covid relief funds must not stay at the various ministry accounts as the case is today with some ministries. The ministries who are still delaying the disbursement of these funds must know that they are only conduit and must quickly transfer these monies leave their accounts to the direct beneficiaries.
In the Supplementary Appropriation Bill (SAP) of 2020, funds were apportioned to sectors and through ministries for beneficiaries to benefit. The government of the Gambia during the SAP did put huge amounts of monies for sectors and yet some of these are yet to receive these amounts allocated to them and all reasons is linked to unnecessary beau racy.
Just to name a few, are the ministry of Tourism and the ministry of Information for the media. The former is given over a hundred million, and the media given only fifteen million dalasi.
Interestingly the Tourism ministry who were given over a 100 million dalasi and which ministry looks much bigger were able to dished out these monies to the respective beneficiaries ; whiles the ministry of Information are still struggling with the meager 15 million dalasi allocation for the media family as covid relief funds.
The Tourism minister was on record saying not a dalasi of the 100 million dalasi will stay in the ministry’s accounts. Barely a week after that policy statement by the minister we saw the disbursement of the 100 million dalasi.
What is holding the ministry of Information not letting the 15 million dalasi out of their accounts to the beneficiaries?
COVID has and still continuous to have negative impact on the people and people’s livelihoods. These negative impacts are felt and that is one very key reason for the government to come up with the SAP and input a lot of relief package for some of the front liners and those institutions hardly affected by COVID.
For any positive action now is for the concern ministries to immediately release the covid funds to the beneficiaries rather than keeping these funds at their ministries. The continuous keeping of these monies at various ministries is defeating the purpose of covid relief funds.