Mai Ahmad Fatty: The 2021 budget estimates is nothing but day light robbery; an attack on our economy.
8 billion Dalasis deficit constitutes 16% of the total debt of the entire 22 years of Yaya Jammeh’s rule, in just one year by this government. An absolute rubbish! Of these, 3 billion is expected to be domestic debts and the rest foreign. Vital sectors such as agriculture (400 million Dalasi) etc compared to over 2 billion Dalasi for their pet projects, shows this budget is custom-made for 2021 elections, and not on national priorities. It is built on perpetuating personal political ambition, and any development variable achieved is merely incidental to that ambition.
Over 1 billion Dalasis for centralised services, together with potentially illicit proceeds from billions of new and on-going infrastructure contracts, will ensure limitless 2021 election campaign funds. What will the Ministry of Finance alone do with nearly 2 billion Dalasis budget it allocated itself? They will also control over1 billion Dalasi separate centralised services budget. No one gets to supervise how that money would be spent.
Clearly, this government has gone outside of the funding models of the NDP for obvious reasons, and those reasons may appear highly dubious.
Once passed by Parliament, the regime will have the potential opportunity to spend a hundred million Dalasis in each region in 2021 for elections purposes. This is perhaps the most self-serving, most heartless, most reckless and irresponsible budgets in Gambian history. I am not an economist but even at a lay perspective, this budget makes no sense. It should be rejected outright.