Gambia: Assembly Adjourns Sine-Dine

The National Assembly Tuesday adjourned sine-dine after days of intensive session and debates on issues of national interest.

The adjournment debate, which was presided over by the speaker of the National Assembly, Hon. Abdoulie Bojang, witnessed contributions from members of both sides of the House on various issues affecting their constituencies. It also availed members the opportunity to seek for possible solutions to address some of those constraints and bring them to the attention of the authorities.

Opening the debate on the adjournment, Hon. Fabakary Tombong Jatta, Majority leader and NAM for Serrekunda East, welcomed the Appropriation Bill that provides for the services of the government of The Gambia for the period 1st January 2013 to 31st December 2013, both dates inclusive. He also recalled the motion on the East China Sea Peace Initiative that was approved on Tuesday, which called upon parties to the East China Sea conflict to resolve the dispute. He thanked the minister of Finance and Economic Affairs and his entire team for the improvements in the budgetary process and the budget outlook itself.

Hon. Jatta also called on Gambians to participate effectively in the sustainable socio-economic development of the country. He stressed that every Gambian irrespective of political affiliation should thank the Almighty God and indeed the government of the day for the peace that they so much cherish and everyone is enjoying today. "There is no amount of justification to anybody at any time to create instability and bring about terror in a country that has long been known for its peace until it has been labelled as the Smiling Coast of Africa," he said.

The Majority leader also raised concerns on the issue of tenants and landlords, and urged the Committee on Local Government to come in and encourage various municipalities and councils to ensure that the Rent Act is not violated. He said that the provision of shelter for a family is a fundamental right and no father or mother would be comfortable living with his or her family outside, while the Rent Act is here to protect both landlords and tenants.

"Some landlords are terrible and greedy. The Rent Act provides for everything but landlords would require a tenants earning D1000 or D2000 to pay six months in advance. We are the representatives of the people and through the relevant committee, we should do everything possible to ensure that the Rent Act is implemented to the letter to protect both the landlords and tenants," he added.

Hon. Abdoulie Saine, NAM for Banjul Central, commended the government of The Gambia for initiating the Fishing Jetty Project in Banjul for the youths of Banjul,which is creating employment for them. He also thanked the president for his recent visit to various streets in Banjul to have first-hand information of the road projects, and for also demolishing the old temporary structures which was an eyesore in the city.

Hon. Seedy Njie, nominated member, thanked the president of the Republic for his commitment to the plight of Gambian youths and women. He commented on the Israel-Palestine conflict, denouncing terrorist act of the people of Israel towards the legitimate government and people of Palestine. According to him, it is disheartening that during the UN General Assembly, the world recognises Palestine as a non-observer State, while the Israeli government continue to kill the innocent people of Palestine and continue to illegally expand its expansion into its territory.

Hon. Ousman Njie, NAM for Sami, suggested that since farming is a risky business now due to unpredictable weather conditions, more investment is required on irrigation infrastructure to improve agricultural productivity particularly on rice cultivation for the attainment of food self-sufficiency. He said that livestock development is a good source of income for farmers, and urged all Gambian farmers to rear small ruminants to boost the market capacity especially during Tobaski so that the price will be reasonable.

Hon. Mam Cherno Jallow, NAM for Upper Niumi, suggested that the Gambia Groundnut Corporation (GGC) should start facilitating how best nuts could be transported to avoid many loses.

Hon. Alhaji Kassum Jallow, NAM for Wuli West, dilated on the recent reform of the personal income tax, which he said is very important for Gambians.

Hon. Foday A. Jallow, NAM for Niamina East, noted that landlords are making rent very difficult not only for tenants but even for the businessmen.

Hon. Muhammed Magassy, NAM for Basse, highlighted transportation as a contributing factor affecting the performance of children in some schools.

Hon. Sainey Mbye, NAM for Upper Saloum, described the 2012 session of the National Assembly as a success. He used the opportunity to complain about the lack of water supply in Kaur. He also stated that farmers are not selling their groundnuts to GCC and other depots but rather, they are selling it to private companies and weekly markets (Lumos). He urged the government to intervene.

Hon. Kalipha Jammeh, NAM for Bakau, implored on the Majority leader to discuss the plight of the pensioners with the minister of Finance and Economic Affairs.

Hon. Habiboulie Jawo, NAM for Jimara, called on the minister of Interior to intensify security to reduce armed robbery in his constituency.

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