By: Kebba AF Touray
Finance Minister Mambury Njie told National Assembly Members on Wednesday that from January 1st to end October 2019, a total of D269, 745,723.00 was spent on travel expenses, accounting to 80 percent of its approved budget.
Minister Njie made this known in response to a question asked by Omar Ceesay, MP for Niamina East.
He said a total of D4, 791,105 was spent on the last Presidential tour. Njie made this disclosure in response to a question raised by Member for Kiang Central, Fakebba Colley.
Sulayman Saho of Badibu Central further asked whether the Minister has any plan to cut down the cost on Presidential tour in view of the current economic situation. Minister Njie confirmed that his Ministry has no plans to cut down the cost.
Njie responded that the government’s vehicle policy is currently at the Ministry of Transport for review and once a clean draft is available, it will be shared with stakeholders.
Yaya Gassama, Member for Kiang East, asked the rationale for forcing Gambians to have vehicle insurance and yet they are not compensated when eventualities happen.
Minister Njie informed the Assembly that vehicle insurance is mandatory as per insurance laws of the Gambia and as such all vehicles owners are required to insure their vehicles.
He added, “concerning refund or compensation, the same law guarantees compensation where appropriate and victims are responsible for pursuing insurance companies to ensure compensations are made”.
On the two aircrafts grounded at the Banjul International Airport for almost three years, Njie said the said aircrafts were sold at the tune of DUS$240,000 in May 2018.
He added, “moreover, another three scrap airplanes were sold for US$500,000 sometime in 2019”.
“Can the Minister tell the assembly the total amount raised since the introduction of the levy for sport development on telecommunications and whether the funds generated from the levy will be judiciously utilized only on sport development and how it is managed?’ asked Ousman Sillah, Member for Banjul North.
Minister Njie explained, “since the introduction of the new sport levy, a total of D43.6 million has been collected and allocated to the Ministry of Youth and Sports. On the usage, the line Ministry will be in a better position to elaborate on that”.
Member for Upper Saloum, Alagie Mbowe, asked, “Can the Minister inform this assembly the companies that have Public Private Partnership (PPP) Agreement with the Government?”
Minister responded that the following companies have PPP Agreement with the government;
1. Digital Gambia Limited(DGL)EX-CAF
2. Agua Gambia Limited
3. Comfort Quality Services Limited
4. Nick TC-Scan
5. Africard Gambia
7. Semlex Euro SA