Gambia: Councillors Finally Adopt Basse Area Council's 2020 Budget

Councilors of the Basse Area Council (BAC) on Thursday 5th December 2019, adopted the regions 2020 budget estimates after it was initially rejected by them.

In his opening remarks, the Chairperson of BAC Foday Danjo commended his Councilors for what he called 'a job well executed'.

"When we went for a bilateral meeting with other Councils, BAC was the only Council that performed an excellent job which is in line with the new system. Even those from the Ministry of Finance, recommended what we have done. As I am speaking now, some Councils have been referred back by the Ministry, to review their budget estimates," Chairperson Danjo said.

Chairperson Danjo said 60% of current budget estimates is for development in all its forms; that Council's target and main priority for 2020 is portable water for communities.

"The Council's target is provision of portable water for people because many of them are unprivileged to have boreholes in their communities. So come 2020, BAC's target is the provision of portable water for all communities within the region," he concludes.

During the presentation, the Acting Finance Director at BAC Aboubakary M.J. Kanteh, presented the total budget estimates for the region for the year 2020, which is equivalent to twenty-nine million, nine hundred and seventy thousand, six hundred and five dalasi and fifty-seven butut (D29,970,605.57). Kanteh said among this amount, sixteen million, five hundred and eighty thousand dalasi (D16,580,000.00) will be allocated for development projects while thirteen million, three hundred and ninety thousand, six hundred and five dalasi fifty-seven butut (D13,390,605.57) will be allocated to administrative costs.

"This is the budget estimate we have prepared and it is the one that has been presented to the Ministry. It is in line with the new system," Kanteh said.

The budget estimates were first rejected by Councilors of the BAC on Friday September 27th 2019 by calling for its review. The total budget estimates rejected earlier was equivalent to thirty-two million nine hundred and ninety-five thousand, three hundred and seven dalasi (D32,995,307).

Councilors argued that the estimates merely covered Council's administrative costs and not the immediate interests of the people of the region such as portable water.

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