Nuha Touray: Overspending left State House on budget overrun

The Executive Office of ex-President Yahya Jammeh was always on budget overrun, his former Cabinet Secretary, Nuha Touray told a Commission probing the former leader.

Jammeh had mismanaged billions during his 22-year rule and more than $7 million is estimated to have been passing through his hands every month.

Most of the funds are not part of the budget meant for his. They have been withdrawn from the Central Bank of the Gambia and from secret accounts in commercial banks.

Every year, the country’s Parliament approves at least $15 million in supplementary budget for his office, mostly two months before the end of the fiscal year.

Jammeh does not look at the budget submitted for his office by his Chief of Staff to the Ministry of Finance. His aides are very mindful in giving him advice, fearing prosecution or sacking.

Jammeh budget is more than all government departments, except for two ministries. The new President Adama Barrow slashed the presidency’s budget by more than half to help save the country some money.

Officials do not know exactly what Jammeh spent most of the money was on but suspect it was on foreign trips and shopping for the ex-First Lady Zineb Jammeh, her family, and close associates.

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