By Makutu Manneh
National Assembly members on Thursday commenced 3 days training on Budget scrutiny, review and analysis to enhance their skills and ability to interrogate Gambia’s National Budget.
The training is held at Kairaba Jawara’s International Conference Centre and is organized by the National Authorising Office Systems Unit (NAOSU) with support from European Union.
Mamboury Nije, Minister of Finance and Economic Affairs said the training provides the National Assembly Members the opportunity to effectively execute and understand their role in the entire budgetary approval process.
He added that the training will improve their skills and understanding and exposure to analytical techniques and insights for efficient review, scrutiny and oversight.
“It is expected that a more effective and efficient budget scrutiny and oversight culture will be entrenched within the House,” Minister Nije said.
He said he is expecting that at the end of the training, NAMs will be equipped adequately with robust skills and techniques to enable them better understand the budget when laid before them.
Dominic Mendy a former Minister of Finance and the lead trainer, said the training is to ensure that everyone is engaged and so that they can device mechanisms for assessing and understanding their budget.
“You make and take critical decision on our behalf and transform those into laws, it will direct how we behave and do things,” he said.
Else Boonstra Deputy Head of Delegation EU, said Gambia is in a critical period and that Gambians have to make decisions and make choices, in particular on the foundations they want to build their cherished “New Gambia” on.
“National Assembly Members play a crucial role in the Government’s national budget approval process. To be able to discharge these duties effectively, it is important to have a solid foundation of knowledge in terms of procedures, roles and nitty gritty,” Else Boonstra said.
She said The European Union stands by the Gambia in easy as well as in difficult times.
“From budget support to feeder roads, from creating jobs for youth and women to providing green electricity to remote areas, we are there with you. To help build up The Gambia as a country that caters for daily life and helps fulfil the dreams of all its daughters and sons,” she said.
Mariam Jack Denton, Speaker of the National Assembly urged the lawmakers to give their attention and time to the procedures that will be shared during the training period.
“I have no doubt in my mind that the knowledge and skills that will be acquired during the course of these three days will help better equip Honourable Members and prepare us to execute our mandate as effectively and efficiently as possible,” she said.