Which Is Which?
The Minister of Fisheries and Water Resources did explain to the National Assembly that the Fisheries Agreement between The Gambia and Senegal is about to expire.
The Minister was informed that there was no agreement as dictated by Section 79 of the Constitution which reads
“(1) The President shall be responsible for –
(c) the negotiation and, subject to ratification by the National Assembly, the conclusion of treaties and other international agreements;”
The Minister agreed that without ratification there is no agreement and apologised for earlier insisting that there was an agreement.
After a break the Minister came back to inform the National Assembly that he has been called an informed during break that the agreement was ratified during the first Republic.
The Assembly adopted a motion for the Minster to submit the content of the agreement the august body for review.
The members will be able to refer the matter to a relevant committee for detailed scrutiny, consideration and advice. It is important for the Minister to get proper legal counsel and inform the National Assembly when he is called upon to bring the agreement signed during the first Republic.
It is true that the National Assembly can call for all the agreements ever signed to be forwarded to its committee for review.
The National Assembly has power to inquire into all the details to get the truth. The members are unanimous in getting to the roots of the matter and compel the Minister to do the right thing if the wrong thing has been done. Until when the truth is known one cannot order the Minister to do anything. That is how matters stand.