Sabally urges NAMs to reject proposed increase in President’s Budget
Former Budget Director and erstwhile Presidential Affairs Minister, Momodou Sabally, has urged National Assembly members to squash a proposed D 34 million increase in the budget allocated to the Office of the President for the fiscal year 2020.
Sabally made this call in an open letter addressed to the Minister of Finance on the proposed budget for 2020. While admitting that our budget situation is very difficult due to the macroeconomic realities on the ground Sabally argued that recent policy moves championed by the current Finance Minister is worsening the budget situation and the economy of the country in general.
He emphatically stated:
“The increase in the budget of the office of the President by D34 million is wrong. We all know the problem of dealing with that budget head knowing the difficulty of satisfying the political animal in that office. But the wisdom has always been to constrain the presidency ab initio, and then manage the situation as the budget implementation cycle unfolds.
“By expanding expenditure for the presidency, you are simply pampering your boss for political patronage at the expense of the tax payer. The increase in salaries at the office of the President is also waste of resources. We know that the problem at that office is being compounded by further expanding the bureaucracy of an already dysfunctional office instead of taking the tough decision of redeploying or firing all the “squares pages in round wholes.”
While clarifying that his call for deputies to vote down the proposed increase in resources allocated to the presidency was not for political reasons and urging the deputies to treat it as a non-partisan matter, Sabally emphasised “I would surely recommend that the deputies at the Assembly cancel the proposed increase of expenditure under the office of the President to set a perfect example and send a message to the executive that the meagre resources of our tax payers cannot be used for ‘mbumbai’ in these trying times.“
He further admonished the Finance Minister as follows “the executive has for long trodden on the poor tax payers for too long. Now that the tax payers have voted to have something better than what used to obtain in the past, we cannot afford to repeat the mistakes of yesteryears. If the Mandinka saying that ‘sila kotor kataa satay kotor leh to’ is anything g to go by, then you are leading this country back into the doldrums of fiscal obstinacy. We can do better than this so let us strive to make the future better, cleaner and brighter. This is our collective responsibility regardless of our political leanings.”