By Amie Sanneh
Mr. Amadou Sanneh, the Minister of Finance and Economic Affairs, has indicated that taking a loan to finance programs does not mean that the country is selling its independence or is weak; that it should rather be seen as an opportunity to deal with a challenge.
Responding to concerns made by National Assembly Members that the Gambia should minimise the way it takes loans as it makes the country to be highly indebted, Mr. Sanneh told deputies that as a country, the challenges and requirements for resources are far more than what the country has domestically; that 28 per cent of domestic revenue cannot change the situation of the youth, develop agriculture, health or education; that they have to find other sources of funding, to fill the gap. “We are giving civil servants loans to build their houses. So what does that mean? Don’t they want it at their personal level? You don’t want loan at your personnel level?” he questioned. He said countries are borrowing billions of dollars when the Gambia is talking about 50 or at most, 100 million dollars.
Commenting on their sources of funding, Mr. Sanneh said like other developing countries, they have domestic revenue, grants, donors and loans, as a source of finance for their projects and programs.