The Gambia Government has announcedbudgetary savings of 955 million Gambian dalasis (US$23.9 million) for the fiscal year 2017.
The initial budget of 4.7 billion Gambian dalasis (US$117.5 million) approved in December 2016 was brought down to D3.75 billion Gambian dalasis (US$93.6 million), representing a reduction of over US$20 million. The cuts are meant to instill financial discipline as promised by President Adama Barrow during his election campaigns.
According to Finance Minister, Amadou Sanneh, “this revised budget has a total financing gap of D955 Million, compared to the D4.7 Billion Budget that was previously approved in December 2016.”
He added that the majority of the cuts are from allocations made to the Office of the President, Adama Barrow, “At least 475 million Gambian dalasis ($11.9 million dollars) mainly in goods and services, most of it from the budget of the Office of the President have been cut.
The budget cuts of at least 475 million Gambian dalasis ($11.9 million dollars) affect the operations of the State House (presidential palace) and upkeep of the first family.
Under former president Yahya Jammeh, the first family was allocated over 4.7 billion Gambian dalasis (US$117 million) during the last three years (2013-2016) of his tenure.
The Finance minister announced that a total of 42 million Gambian dalasis (US$23.6 million) will be saved.
Plans to “vigorously pursue recovery of stolen assets of the government through all available channels, including the assistance of the World Bank Stolen Assets Recovery Unit” are also underway according to the Finance minister.
The National Assembly was also informed of plans to sell off four private presidential jets registered in the Gambia government’s name, which were for the personal use of former President Jammeh. The country will gain at least US$11.89 million from the sale.
Photo/ Coalition Media Team: President Adama Barrow and Finance Minister. Amadou Sanneh