Gambian MPs have expressed the need to ‘priorities’ government spending on health care, agriculture and youth empowerment in the 2018 country`s national budget.
Banjul North MP Honourable Ousman Sillah said without quality and accessible health care delivery system, it “will be a mission impossible.”
He called on the Finance Minister to prioritize government spending on health, agriculture, and youth empowerment in the 2018 budget estimates.
Hon. Sillah said government should ensure the implementation of the Abuja Declaration, which calls for 15% of local funding allocation to the health sectors of member states.
“This is important considering the current conditions of the country’s health sector, as it is faced with serious challenges, key among them are inadequate medical staff, medical supplies, and medical equipment among others.”
The PDOIS MP also called on the government to work towards the implementation of its commitment to the Maputu Declaration, which it has committed to allocate 10 percent of the national budget to the agricultural sector, adding that it is the mainstay of the country’s economy.
On youth empowerment, Hon. Sillah said the Coalition government should invest more on the youths and creates opportunities that will help to curb irregular migration, unemployment and crime rate.
He called for the adjustment in the budget allocation to the Fisheries department, which he said has the potentials of creating “jobs for the youths, supplement the nutritional intake of the populace and boost the economy.”
Hon. Saikou Marong, Member for Latrikunda Sabiji, said that the country`s health sector is face with daunting challenges that needs urgent interventions. He added that this should be done during budget estimation to allocate a befitting budget to the sector.
He called on the Finance Minister to prioritize the health sector in his budgetary allocation, “to make scary scenarios facing the health sector into the past.”
On the Ministry of Youth and Sports, he urged that the sector to be fully catered for, as it is responsible for improving the welfare of the young people, who are the future leaders.
“This is a new Gambia and the ideas of a new Gambia must be reflected in the budget, the youths need to be catered for” said Marong.
On celebrations, Hon. Marong argued that the country`s independence day is the only national day worth celebrating, saying considering the terrible economy situation the country is into there is no need for other celebrations.