By: Kebba AF Touray
National Assembly Members have decried the lack of the basic social amenities in their respective constituencies. Members made this outcry during the adjournment debate of Friday 29thDecember 2107 and called on the relevant authorities to act urgently, to relegate the menace into history.
The Member for Latrikunda Sabiji Saikou Marong, called on the Ministries of Works, Energy and Water, to render the needed services in their respective Ministries, to the electorate of his constituency; that the country should stop saying that the problems with which the country is confronted are inherited form the past regime; that all the Ministries know that the country has gone through a lot during the past 22 years, which if not stopped, the country will never improve.
“This is the truth. We need to move forward. Things have to change. This is a new Gambia and everybody is talking about the new Gambia. The ideas of a new Gambia should reflect in all the activities of the new regime to make the country that we all want it to be”, he says
On the Foreign Affairs Ministry, Hon. Marong said the budget allocated to the country’s foreign Embassies is huge; that they are expected to represent the interest of The Gambian people. “We have given you assignments and we expect positive results”, he said
Hon. Marong urged members to make laws to ensure that things work for the betterment of the country and the citizenry. He tasked the Speaker to ensure quality connection at the Legislature and challenged the NA Authorities to cater for drivers in terms of feeding.
The Member for Wuli East Hon. Suwaibou Touray, said the history is that Ministers were National Assembly Members; that as such, one needs not call them at that time; that when the system changed, Ministers became Ministers and parliamentarians likewise; that there was a disconnect and that their initiative is to bring them together so that they can dialogue more closely since they cannot work in isolation from each other.
He emphasized that the Police permit that is issued to the people is not meant for holding meetings, but for people who want to use public address system for amplification. He said the public order Act went further to say that those who want to demonstrate especially on the street since they will occupy the road require permit.
“So you would need a permit when you want to use the PA System, you would need a permit when you want to occupy the road to demonstrate, but you don’t need a permit when you want to have a meeting, because if you want to make this a practice, it is practically impossible to implement it, because the whole country is meeting every day, everywhere and if they are to require permit, then the police will only be working on that”, he explained
He said if that is the case that permit is needed for any meeting, and then there is the need for a review of the issue.
“We need to clarify that so that the confusion is clear”, he said
He also informed the information minister that important public statements are continuously repeated so that people are properly informed, with particular reference to the increment of transport fares for public officers during the budget speech, noting that the information was not filtered down and the drivers thought it was the transport fares that was increased, thus changed the fares to the initial costs.
He implored the Health Ministry to provide the necessary equipment to the country’s main referral hospital (EFSTH) and also called for a standard laboratory that will test all the incoming foods into the country to ensure that they are fit for human consumption. He also appealed to the Interior minister to provide transport to the Basse, Sareh Ngai and Macca Masireh police stations and to go extra mile in providing Moto-cycles and residence for Macca Masireh police officers.
On agriculture, Hon. Touray appealed to the Agriculture Minister to provide power tillers and accessible road to the rice growers in Wuli Sutukoba to boost their rice cultivation ambitions.
He called on the Ministry for water to help provide water boreholes in bordering villages in Wuli East in villages such as Passamas, Wellingara Yareh,Tabanding and in Gunjur Koto.
On loans and grants as stated by one of the members equating The Gambia with the UN in taking loans and grants, he said UN is an advanced body and is the depository of the world’s wealth.
“So when they take loans they know how to pay them and will not be a problem for them, but if The Gambia involves itself in taking debts and equate itself with UN that is wrong example it can take”, he concludes.