2018 Budget: Halifa insists First Lady`s office must be eliminated

Halifa Sallah, Gambian Socialists leader

Hon. Halifa Sallah, MP for Serrekunda has called for the “elimination” of the First Lady`s office, which is allocated three hundred and thirty thousand, eight hundred and fifty-five dalasis in the 2018 National Budget.

In his intervention speech at the National Assembly chambers, Sallah said: “We are not condemning anybody.” And, added that “all the wives of the presidents are respectable people and should not be a subject of discussion.”

According to Sallah allocating them a portion of taxpayers’ money from the National budget, made them a subject of discussion.”

He sought clarification on the existence of the First Lady`s Office and argued that throughout the world including Africa, “no one has ever talked about the office of the first husband”, citing Margaret Thatcher the late British Prime Minister as an example and pointed out that those who are gender sensitive are still not taking it up.

President Barrow & First Lady Fatou Bah

He said family relation is personal and not state or republic matters and that family members should not be a subject of discussion or scrutiny, but by including them in the national budget, it will make them subject of scrutiny.

He insists that if there is to be a new start, the Office of the First Lady must be eliminated, which should not be part of parliamentary debates. He said “a republic does not recognize anybody who is not elected or appointed for a post in the public service.”

In addition to his intervention, Sallah said: “Looking at what is before us, we have made adjustment to be able to deal with the current realities of the country; that the adjustment they we are making should enable us to move into the future so that we will not be depending on external budget support and not depending entirely on the project grants.”

He recommended that before the end of 2018, public enterprises should provide their budget, audited accounts in full, so that the National Assembly will be able to determine their profits and losses.


  1. Nearly M. Kora

    December 7, 2017 at 12:32 pm

    U at right Hon. Sallah

  2. Albouri

    December 8, 2017 at 10:12 am

    I think halifa is right. We cannon budget our tax payers money to unelected individuals. Especially when we are dealing with meagre resources and depending mostly on grants and aids. We are a poor country so we need to use the little we have judiciously not to look for loop holes to enrich our favourite ones.

  3. Alasan Boye

    December 8, 2017 at 2:41 pm

    No need for office of the fist lady,the gambians voted for a president not a fist lady and moreover we will not be doing justice for the second wife bec the president has two wife’s. If there is for the fist lady then the same should apply to the second wife also. There are all equal in the eyes of Allah,so should be treated equally.

  4. Yusupha jobe

    December 8, 2017 at 8:39 pm

    We will surely die but office of the first lady will never be created stupid and greedy move,watch on Gambia OK.

  5. ONE MAN

    December 9, 2017 at 3:48 pm


  6. ismaila lowe

    December 9, 2017 at 4:23 pm

    I have zero knowledge about politics but furnishing the first lady’s office doesn’t explain judicious spending of the national budget..we voted and elected the president,mps,ministers just to name a few but neither we voted in for a first lady..

  7. Bigmo

    December 9, 2017 at 7:34 pm

    But is it part of our constitution to budget for the first lady office.. Or Any person who is unelected? If no.. Then first lady we are sorry but big no that budget decision… If yes is in the constitution then you are lucky first lady you will have but… An as Gambian we should get that out of our constitution by 2018 if it’s there..

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