Gambian president elect Adama Barrow sits for an interview with the Associated Press at his residence in Yundum, Gambia, Saturday Dec. 3, 2016. Gambia’s newly elected president Barrow says he will free the country’s political prisoners, reverse the former administration’s decision to leave the International Criminal court and lead a transition government for only three years. (AP Photo/Jerome Delay)

Barrow slashes D475M in State House spending

President Adama Barrow is cutting deeply into his office’s budget and axing millions from allocations made to cover the running of his office and the first family.

At least D475 million dalasis ($11.9 million dollars) have been cut from the State House budget in an effort to balance the budget for the fiscal year, officials have confirmed.

Mr. Barrow also watered down watered down spending to care for his family to save the country’s impoverished taxpayers.

The cut came after Barrow’s administration revised and trashed his predecessor, Yahya Jammeh’s budget that allocated millions in regular and supplementary budget to the presidency.

Barrow is pledging to cut more than a billion dalasis from the government’s spending and informed lawmakers of plans to sell off four presidential planes.

The budget cuts are among a flurry of actions on critical issues by the political newcomer to save the country’s shabby economy and instill financial discipline.

So far, there is a gap of more than D955 million dalasis ($23.9 million dollars) million heading into the new budget year, triggering predictions of the new leader wielding his budget ax.

Barrow’s forerunner Jammeh had more than $7 million dollars (D280 million dalasis) going through the presidency monthly.

Officials did not know what most of the money was spent on but suspect it was on foreign trips and shopping for the first lady, her family, and close associates.

Gambian authorities confirmed that more than $117 million dollars (D4.7 billion dalasis) have been officially spent by the ex-president during the last three years of his rule.

Jammeh left the Gambia in a state of bankruptcy and the new government of Adama Barrow had to draft a continuing resolution to keep the government operating with EU help.

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