Barrow’s cabinet reviews budget, development blueprint

Barrow’s cabinet reviews budget, development blueprint

The Barrow Administration has reviewed the country’s 2017 budget and the long-awaited National Action Plan, which pro-democracy campaigners say is long overdue.

The Barrow government has come under pressure to release its development blueprint but acting Vice President Fatoumata Tambajang called for patience.

President Barrow took over the country from Yahya Jammeh after two months of political turmoil that saw West African troops deployed to the longtime ruler.

Gambians are expecting rapid growth and employment opportunities in a country where illegal migration to Europe has taken a toll on its workforce.

The European Union has pumped in some $82 million dollars to help jumpstart the economy and curb the migration crisis. More than $23 million dollars of the sum will be used to create jobs.

When Jammeh left the Gambia, the economy was left nearly insolvent with the national treasury heavily depleted. He is now accused of corruption and financial mismanagement.

Gambia’s government spending is in need of radical changes. More money is dedicated to the Office of the President than to education, energy, and other critical economic sectors.

The country is struggling to meet its energy needs, shying away investors. Power cuts and water shortages are frequent with the state-owned power company only able to generate less than 40% of demand.

The budget and blueprints are yet to be made public but their revision will help to temporarily diffuse and ease the pressure on the government to have them released immediately.

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