The 2014 budget has finally been presented to deputies at the National Assembly. We first wish to commend the Ministry of Finance and Economic Affairs and by extension the president of the Republic for the hard work and for once more presenting to Gambians a realistic budget.
The realistic fiscal statistics contained in the budget denotes the commitment of the leadership to the accomplishment of our Vision 2020 aspirations. We need not reiterate the words of the Finance minister that our economy in spite of challenges is growing steadily. Every Gambian has seen for him/herself that what was a traditionally agriculture-dependent economy has over the years manifested promising tendencies towards industrialisation, with the private sector being led by tourism, trading and fisheries, which are experiencing modest growth. Already, the banking and financial sector has been given a new outlook, with no sign of a halt to the inflow of more financial institutions. The policies instituted over the years by the government of President Jammeh have been very receptive of the expansion of our productive base, and that has made it possible for the sustained economic growth. All these factors have enabled the country to progress and the people to be provided with alternative sources of income to suit their varying needs, all in the quest for national development. The 2014 budget shows that the country is advancing greatly towards the achievement of the national development blueprint -the Vision 2020. If there exists concerted effort to this end, there is no doubt that the country will continue attracting more investors, leading to the establishment of firms and creation of employment for the overall development of the country.
We would bring you analysis of the breakdown of the budget. But it is imperative to note that what is essential is for all stakeholders in development, ranging from state technocrats, private sector, civil and non-governmental organisations to the common person to realise that the current leadership is directing the affairs of this country towards a sustainable future. What is required of us as citizens of this country is to take ownership of the national development process so that collectively we can produce a better Gambia.