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Lawmakers urge measures to avoid president’s face on currency


The lawmakers have on Tuesday passed the Central Bank Bill 2018 to strengthen the independence of the country’s apex bank.

Minority leader of Gambia’s national assembly, Samba Jallow

Samba Jallow, the minority leader of the National Assembly, has asked his colleagues to put in the Central Bank Act measures that will prevent future presidents to put their face on country’s currency.

The finance minister Mamburay Njie has appeared before lawmakers to table a bill which amended the Central Bank Act to “strengthen the autonomy of the apex”.

Jallow said the apex bank’s act needs a clause that will prevent a scenario where any leader can cost the state a fortune by putting their face on it.

“I know that printing money is so expensive… We can put something into this act to define the features that could be put in our money… instead of each regime putting its leader on it,” Jallow said.

“How can we capture it in the act so that the features that are supposed to be put in our money are neutral, non-partisan features.”

Jallow’s position was shared by several of his colleagues though it was not inserted in the act which was approved on Tuesday.

Momodou Lamin Sanneh, deputy speaker of the National Assembly, described Jallow’s view as a “sound observation”, adding he is “in support of it”.

With the exception of president Adama Barrow, two of Gambia’s previous leaders Dawda Jawara and Yahya Jammeh have both put their face on the country’s currency.

Meanwhile, a nominated member of the lawmaking body, Ndey Yassin Secka, has also urged the Central Bank officials put features on the currency that could help people with visual impairment and blindness to recognize it.

“We would like to have features on our currency that can enable us to also recognize notes when we touch them. We can only recognize coins. Currencies in US, UK and even Ghana has such features…,” said Secka.

The lawmakers have approved the bill with several amendments. The amended bill is expected to ensure the independence of the Central Bank, said finance minister Njie.


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