Friday, November 15, 2019

Adjournment Debate at the National Assembly

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By Yankuba Jallow

The Gambia National Assembly has on Thursday had its adjournment debate. Members harped on so many issues ranging from under development and other issues.

Mahtarr M. Jeng, the member for Lower Nuimi said his constituency is still faced with deplorable roads. His said since the Gambia gained independence, the people of Nuimi have no access to good roads. He added that Jinak in his constituency is an island which has four communities two of which are found in Senegal and two in The Gambia. He added that the Senegalese communities have access to electricity and water supply whereas the two in The Gambia lack such amenities. He called on the government to improve the condition of the Banjul-Barra ferry services so that it can be more efficient and effective. He further called on the government to engage European governments to be humane so that Gambians awaiting deportation would not be put in chains. Jeng put forward that salary increment by the government should not mean an increment in hardship on the people. He opined that the Ministries of Trade and Finance should engage businesspersons involved in the importation of food commodities to reduce the prices of their commodities so that an average Gambian can afford to buy those commodities. He stated that as it stands, the prices of basic commodities remain high.

The member for Sandu, Muhammed Mahanera said the local industries in the country are suffering. He added that the State-owned companies aren’t controlled. He said the government should invest in the people so that they can realise their potential and improve on their lives.

“We cannot continue to rely on donors because donations aren’t sustainable. We have to move from this,” he submitted.

He said the people of Sandu are faced with the challenge of accessing water supply. He added that his people use wells as their source of drinking water. He said in his entire constituency, it is only two communities that have electricity supply and those communities are Diabugu and Darussalam. He urged the Ministry of Petroleum and Energy to consider the people of his constituency when implementing the Electricity Expansion Project.

Honourable Momodou Ceesay said a high percentage of the farmlands in the Central River Region have been abandoned this year. This is because the Ministry couldn’t provide the people with the materials required such as farming implements and tools.

“Agriculture should be a priority in the New Gambia,” he said.

He said the amount that was given to agriculture in the budget is very small and that may not address the challenges confronting the agricultural sector. He averred that the people of CRR are ready to go back to the land and called on the government to support the youth. He said he has been raising issues of hippopotamus invading farmlands in his area but the government hasn’t provided them with solution.

The member for Illiassa Constituency, Honourable K. Camara said the government should ensure that the prices of basic needs (commodities) are reduced so that Gambians can afford them.

Fatoumata Jawara, the member for Tallinding urged the government to provide her Constituency ‘sleeping police’ on the newly constructed roads. In addition, Jawara said they have a small clinic and they want the government to venture into public-private partnership to turn it to a big one with a mortuary.

Momodou Camara, member for Foni Bintang said the former Minister of Finance (Amadou Sanneh) has told and convinced the National Assembly on issues that are never fruitful. The issues the Minister promised were the vehicle policy and the reduction in the price of a bag of rice. He opined that the Minister should be charged for contempt of the National Assembly.

On the issues of the Senegalese Military Troops in The Gambia, Camara said they have been involved greatly in violating the fundamental human rights of Gambians. He said their actions undermine the sovereignty of The Gambia. He said they have killed Haruna Jatta of Kanilai. He said the government should ensure that the integrity of the Gambia is protected and should not sit and watch these soldiers maltreating Gambians.

Other contributors will be featured on our Monday edition.

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