Gambia’s Environment and Climate Change Minister James Gomez denied reports that the Barrow administration is spending US$625,000 (D25 million) on the inauguration of the president and the independence celebrations.
Gomez, who chaired the organizing committee said the budget is less than D25 million but declined to disclose the amount,
“The budget is less than D25 million but I actually cannot tell you the exact amount,” he said. “And we have partnered wit the hotels to cut cost.”
An official in The State House confirmed on Tuesday that although the independence celebration was already budgeted for, the coalition government saved money by having the inauguration and independence celebrated together.
“The events were to be held separately but the government decided to have them together to save money. There is a lot of funding and help from other countries for these events to actually take place,” the official said.
President Adama Barrow last week pleaded for budgetary support from the EU, which has pledged to give the country more than €240 million in budgetary and development aid within the next three years.
Gambia’s treasury has been emptied by Jammeh and his henchmen. The new government said it inherited an insolvent nation and hopes the coming of nearly two dozen Heads of State will strengthen the country’s foreign relations.