By Amie Sanneh

‘‘The office of the first lady is Constitutional because it is the Constitution that gives the president the power to establish office.’’

These were the remarks of the Minister of Finance and Economic Affairs at the National Assembly, while responding to concerns raised by deputies during the debate on the 2018 Appropriation Bill.  National Assembly Members are still concerned as to why the Finance Minister has retained the budget for the establishment of an office for the First Lady.

Mr. Sanneh said it may be debatable but that if they look at what is budgeted for the office of first Lady, it is not worthy of arguing as it is just the permanent secretary and protocol that it is requesting for. ‘‘This could have been easily dealt with by putting her activities under the president’s office because if she is travelling, she can go with a permanent secretary or protocol. So we just split this to show that these are the salaries of the permanent secretary and protocol. She has no salary, no vehicle.” He emphasized that it is basically symbolic in a way and does not think that it is worth. “It’s just the name that has a debatable attraction but I don’t think it should call for all the commotion that is on,” he concluded.

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