October 1, 2022

NAMs clothing allowance, salary increment triggers public debate

By BINTA BARRY-JAYE

Gambia’s National Assembly triggers public debate when it reported a D100, 000 clothing allowance, a whopping D45, 000 monthly salary, over D1 million vehicle and sitting allowances amongst others for each National Assembly Member (NAM).

The Assembly is the house of representatives in the unicameral legislature of The Gambia comprising of 53 elected members plus 5 nominated members including the Speaker making a total of 58 Members.

Talking to The Monitor on Thursday, Mr Ansumana Kinteh expressed his disappointment at the NAMs, saying it is too early to approve the allowances and salary increment when overwhelming majority of their electorates are living in abject poverty.

“It is rather unfortunate and too early for them to approve it when two-third of the electorates are living on less than a dollar. They ought to know better,” Ansumana  kinteh told The Monitor.

Mr Kinteh added that the timing is wrong while arguing that they could have waited for the next two years before endorsing it.

Halimatou Sadia Sowe, a politician at Banjulinding acknowledged the approval of the clothing allowance which she said is for a period of five years: “I agree to the clothing allowance which if you break down to every month is less than D2000, which is not much.”

However, Madam Sowe disagreed with the salary increment and constituency allowance, which should be used for the development of their constituencies.

She argued that the money spent on the salaries and constituency allowances can change the living standard of the rural Gambians if properly utilised.

Maba Jahu Bah also strongly opposed the clothing allowances of D100, 000, a whopping D45, 000 monthly salary and over D1 Million vehicles for each member considering the current state of the country’s economy, adding that NAMs are supposed to be the representatives of the people and not to milk the country.

“The people are suffering and the NAMS are greedily fighting for their own pockets,” Maba lamented.

Alhagie Marong criticised the huge vehicle allowance and compound allocation to NAMs for free when the traffic police officers standing under the hot sun or classroom teachers are not given allowances and health insurance.

“Why NAMs are only fighting for themselves, not the interest of their electorates who they should be representing,” he concluded.

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