Gambia: Lawmakers Issue Statements On Current National Matters

The National Assembly Members for Kiang Central, Old Yundum and Baddibu Central have recently issued statements on current matters in the country.

The statements were meant to urge the government and other relevant stakeholders to swiftly act on the issues raised and provide giant steps on the issues.

Bakary Camara, Member for Kiang Central, issued a statement on the current increase on prices of basic commodities such as rice, sugar, cooking oil as well as cement in the market.

Camara urged the government to probe into the circumstances leading to the price hike in the aforesaid commodities and come up with concrete visible steps to ensure that the practice is curbed. He stated that the practice is not only unacceptable, but unjustifiable.

"Improving the living standards of all citizens and non-citizens resident in the Gambia and creating a favorable environment for the private sector to thrive is one of the reform policies of the government's 2021 budget that we (legislature) approved," he said.

Camara also challenged the government to do its firm stance against what he described as illegal involvement in hoarding basic essential commodities by certain businessmen, whom he said, are involved in the practice.

"The Ministry of Trade must take practical steps to engage the business community and the relevant stakeholders in the business sector, with a view to identifying factors responsible for this unapologetic price increase that is causing much economic burden on the citizenry," he said.

Abdoulie Ceesay, Member for Old Yundum, issued a congratulatory statement to the Gambia National Team. He said the country first entered AFCON at 157th with the aim to reach the 1976 finals in Ethiopia.

He said the county has since waited for long to qualify and play in the AFCON tournament until she finally achieved the mission in the 2022 AFCON qualifier.

"This qualification is unprecedented and historic for Gambian football and beyond. We need to prepare early to prove to the world that we are ready to contest. This victory is also attributed to the facilitation of a chartered air flight, which is the first of its kind," he said.

"It has allowed for the smooth travel of the team to and from Gambia without delay, reduced risk of team fatigue as they reached their playing destinations on time ahead of their matches."

Ceesay said the government's support is key in ensuring that the team is adequately financed, saying it will encourage and motivate the team to deliver standards. He called on the select committee on sports to ensure that a befitting budget is allocated to the sports sector to effectively execute its sporting activities.

Sulayman Saho, Member for Baddibu Central who issued a statement on the effects of drug abuse and trafficking, said from 2019 to date, 500kg of hard drugs and 49 block of cocaine were discovered in warehouses within the Greater Banjul Area.

Saho lamented suspected traffickers are freely roaming the streets. The lawmaker said the country ought to be proactive in the fight against hard drug, especially cocaine and heroin otherwise the future of the youth will be compromised.

"We must collectively put our hands together, both the executive and the legislature in the fight against drug trafficking, terrorism and money laundering. We must ensure that perpetrators are brought to justice as quickly as possible," he said.

Lawmakers, who intervened during the discussion, hailed the aforesaid legislators for their statements. They assured them of their help in the fight against drug abuse and drug trafficking. They also assured them of their support to boost Gambia's performance at both continental and international footballing levels as well as support price control mechanisms to curb hoarding of basic commodities.

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