Gambia’s Minister of Interior has decried the stemming of millions out of the budget for his department at a time the country is facing serious security challenges.
Mai Ahmad Fatty said the transition has been difficult and without proper security, lapses will result in higher crimes rates.
Police in The Gambia has lacked resources to do their job and prison conditions remain inhumane, concerns that budget cuts will prolong.
“For the past two decades, the former regime has built only one police station, which is Sibanor Police Station and the police have taken upon themselves to buy their own equipment because they have been abandoned,” said Fatty.
“We need to equip them with the necessary resources in order for them to carry out their responsibilities efficiently and effectively.”
Fatty hinted that the state central prison, Mile 2 in the outskirts of the capital, Banjul will be torn down and prisoners transferred after a new one is built.
The government has not given any timeline or the location of the new prison but its international partners, including the EU, have called for an improved detention facility.
“The government is looking for funds with other partners as to how to improve the prison condition to a standard one. However there has been remarkable improvement particularly the hygiene condition of the prisoners but more needs to be done to improve the condition,” Fatty said.
The administration of President Adama Barrow has made deep cuts in the national budget slashing more than US$25 million Dollars (GMD1 billion Dalasis) from the funds meant for the executive office of the president and reducing funds meant for government vehicles.