By Gibril Saine

With bright lights being shone at the estimates & figures on collected tax revenue by devolved local authorities in The Gambia, we now know where blame lies as to the nature of poor administrative efficiency, poor service delivery, and of course, poor track record of municipalities across the land:

I woke up this morning quite vexed at news reports regarding estimates about the nature of disruptive financial indiscipline local area councils had been allowed to get away with – for far too long you’d think!

Concerning questions posed by PDOIS Honourable member for Banjul North, OUSMAN SILLAH, I implore any rational you, friends and foes alike, to run through these indiscipline spending lines by local authorities in as many years since the change.

Respectfully, to hell with it – these were young leaders, and new leaders, we had cheered and elevate, regardless, all the while local authority guidelines are being flaunted year on year – Mayors and Council lenders need held accountable:

The law as per recommendation in any given circumstances was that local authorities MUST spend nothing less than sixty percent (60%) of their allocated budget on development initiatives (projects). None of the councils have met that threshold, not even close, despite aggressive tax collection drives against hard press poor residents. So where is the money going? And of central govt subvention meant as gap-filling top up measures assigned for local development:

These are questions for parliament, in consult with the National Audit Office, and for govt to ensure local authorities oblige to the wishes of their (Devolution Powers) terms of reference.

Gambians need recognise that Councils are just like people – who need to cut your cloth according to size – reduce excessive borrowing. The issue of ghost workers in the system will need thorough investigate – A population impatiently waiting to vote out poor performing local area councils at the next election cycle.

Kerewan Area
12,691,038.00 – collected in 2017
3,610,035.00 – spent on dev. projects
28.4 %
14,520,689.00 – collected in 2018
3,746,921.00 – spent on dev. projects
26.0 %
15,194,650.00 – collected in 2019
4,518,000.00 – spent on dev. projects
29.7 %

Banjul City
51,107,074.00 – collected in 2017
2,129,956.00 – spent on dev. projects
4.2 %
53,218,964.00 – collected in 2018
3,586,998.00 -spent on dev. projects
6.7 %
61,372,875.00 – collected in 2019
26,374,953.93 – spent on dev. projects
43.0 %

Kuntaur Area
6,064,847.00 – collected in 2017
366,850.00 – spent on dev. projects
6.0 %
7,054,848.00 – collected in 2018
749,926.00 – spent on dev. projects
10.6 %
10,836,461.00 – collected in 2019
1,067,997.00 – spent on dev. projects
9.9 %

Brikama Area
85,053,310.00 – collected in 2017
2,302,824.00 – spent on dev. projects
2.7 %
74,036,437.00 – collected in 2018
20,388,922.00 – spent on dev. projects
27.5 %
62,958,950.00 – collected in 2019
30,100,000.00 – spent on dev. projects
47.8 %

Mansa konko Area
11,865,135.00 – collected in 2017
1,159,500 – spent on dev. projects
9.8 %
10,355,976.00 – collected in 2018
3,256,000.00 – spent on dev. projects
31.4 %
11,265,100.00 – collected in 2019
2,345,000.00 – spent on dev. projects
20.8 %

Kanifing Municipal
129,876,783.62 – collected in 2017
41,348,256.00 – spent on dev. projects
31.8%
142,473,019.00 – collected in 2018
43,414,137.38 – spent on dev. projects
30.4 %
162,053,022.00 – collected in 2019
76,957,625.00 – spent on dev. projects
47.5 %

Janjanbureh Area
7,735,130.00 – collected in 2017
563,041.00 – spent on dev. projects
7.3 %
7,761,614.00 – collected in 2018
640,148.00 – spent on dev. projects
8.2 %
7,242,881.00 – collected in 2019
708,428.00 – spent on dev. projects
9.8 %

Basse Area Council
14,643,315.00 – collected in 2017
4,643,315.00 – spent on dev. projects
31.2 %
14,604,616.00 – collected in 2018
3,019,936.17 – spent on dev. projects
20.7 %
11,412,200.00 – collected in 2019
1,378,255.50 – spent on dev. projects
12.1 %
TOTAL COLLECTED BY 8 COUNCILS
319,036,632.62 – 2017
56,123,177.00 – spent on dev. projects
17.6 %
324,026,163.00 – 2018
78,802,988.55 – spent on dev. projects
24.3 %
342,336,139.00 – 2018
143,450,258.00 – spent on dev. projects
42.0 %