The National Assembly and the executive are required by the Constitution to work separately but harmoniously to serve the national interest. The executive has the responsibility to implement and propose budgets. The National Assembly has the responsibility to review and approve budgets and monitor implementation.
Once the Minister of Finance submits the Estimates of revenue and expenditure for the following year the executive and the National Assembly should be involved in the review exercise of all the items in the estimates prior to approval. Hence all government Ministers, Permanent Secretaries and their agencies should interface with the committees of the National Assembly to review the Estimates.
This enables the committees to submit their reports to FPAC to present a consolidated report to the National Assembly for a debate to ensue. It is therefore strange that the president’s tour is scheduled at this time when Ministers are required both to be with the president to explain the policies and programmes of the government and measure progress of implementation, as well to be in the National Assembly to defend the budget proposals of their ministries for approval.
This shows that the executive and the legislature are not engaged in effective consultation to know how to schedule their programmes in order to serve the nation at their utmost best. We hope this lack of coordination will be averted in the future.
In any case Foroyaa will continue to monitor the review of the Estimates in order to explain to the Gambian people the economic prospects and services that are envisaged in 2024 after the approval of the estimates by the National Assembly. The readers should stay engaged as we review this matter in the national interest.