By: Kebba AF Touray
The Member for Kombo South and Majority Leader at the National Assembly Kebba K Barrow, has called on members to pass a resolution for a National Conference on Education and Agriculture.
The Kombo South Lawmaker made this call on April 2nd 2019, during the adjournment debate of deputies at the National Assembly.
Barrow said the conference on Education is important because it will give them the opportunity to talk about issues relating to problems of education, quality retention and services; that the conference on Agriculture will help in the planning processes, because agriculture is the backbone of the country, and needs to be mechanized.
The Majority Leader said Lawmakers have raised numerous concerns, which include but not limited to provision of furniture to needy Schools; construction of a College in Basse; the need to improve the status quo of Baniko Lower Basic School; overcrowding of classrooms; low standard of education and performance of students due to the double shift, and the provision of training for teachers. He called on the Ministry of Education to look into the issues raised, to provide remedies.
Majority Leader Barrow said Members of the Assembly, raised concerns on the payment of their contribution to International Bodies which he said, the country has not paid for twenty-two years; that some payments have been waived by the Commonwealth Secretariat. Majority Leader Barrow said presently the EC-ACP and PAP contributions have not been paid, and called on the authorities to look into the matter with urgency.
Majority Leader Barrow said tax evasion by Companies and other institutions and enterprises, is a problem and the money to be collected is huge; that if this is not collected, it can impact greatly on the country adding that the country is a tax-based country; that there is need to align the national development plan to the SDGs, in order to eradicate poverty and develop the wellbeing of the citizenry.
Majority Leader Barrow said a lot has been said on agriculture by his colleagues, especially on issues of fertilizer and other farm inputs; that these issues need to be looked into, especially on agricultural diversification, livestock and rice production. He called on the relevant authorities to ensure that matters on agricultural development are put on right footing, in pursuit of national development.
“NEMA and other relevant institutions should form partnership and coordinate the activities of the sector to produce more cereals, provide jobs and be self-sufficient in food by improving the nutritional intake of the citizenry, when it comes to vegetable production,” Majority Leader Barrow told his colleagues.
He expressed the need to provide remedy for the marketing, storage and postharvest loses of farmer’s produce, with a view to support women horticulturists particularly those engaged in the rearing of small ruminants, for the improvement of their economic status and wellbeing.
He implored the Works Ministry to help construct the road linking Basse and Jah Kunda and Basse and Sare Ngai; that there is immense economic activity therein particularly in Sare Ngai, where there is a weekly market (Lumo). Barrow said the road network in this part of rural Gambia, makes life very difficult for residents.
On the drainage system in Banjul, Barrow averred that a holistic approach should be done to ensure that the issue is put to rest. Barrow also harped on the road situation between Bansang and Kanel, which he said should be made motorable at all times.
Barrow said Companies that have been given special incentive certificates to operate, need to be revisited for them to meet the cement demands of the populace.