New National Assembly building soon -Speaker FJC
Friday, April 11, 2008
Fatoumata Jahumpa-Ceesay, Speaker of the National Assembly has said that the Gambia, under the leadership of President Jammeh has secured funds and set out plans to build a new state-of-the-art National Assembly building in Banjul.
Speaker FJC made this statement on Thursday during a courtsey call by a high profile delegation, comprising the Legislatures, Senate, National Assembly Members, from five ECOWAS states, currently attending a training workshop for Legislatures organised by the West African Institute for Financial and Economic Management(WAIFEM) on the theme, "the role of the parliament vis-a-vis implementation of Millennium Development Goals".
During the courtsey call, Speaker FJC briefed the delegation on the various select committees in the National Assembly such as the social select committee on trade, women select committee, committee on environment and sustainable development project monitoring, Health among others. "We also have a network with World Bank, an Inter-parliamentary Union and also Child Protection Alliance Select Committee.
The National Asembly also build relationship with other stakeholders like the media, Civil society organisations and we want to sustain that relations" she explained.
Speaker FJC further went on to explain their outreaches in the law dispensation in which they recently organised a seminar between the Chiefs and the National Assembly Members which was aimed at harmonising the two institutions. She further briefed the delegates on the history since the colonial era saying "the National Assembly complex used to be a Bar and Tennis Ball lounge constructed by the colonial masters and after playing games in the evening, they sat and relax drinking alcohol noting that the Fishery Department, Foreign Affairs and the Atlantic Hotel were their residences".
Speaker Jahumpa-Ceesay then revealed that, they have a bill in their new dispensation to reach out to the province, each constituency. and talk to the Alkalos, women leaders, youth leaders and farmers as well, to sensitise them on what has been passed and what is to be pass.
Momodou S. Foon, Director Macro-economic Management Department at the Central Bank of Nigeria, said the aim of the call was to brief Speaker FJC on their activities as an institution.
According to him, every year, they organised a forum for legislatures to upgrade their skills and knowledge to do justice interms of analysing the economic and financial contents of the bills they pass. "As we all know, we are in a democratic dispensation. The legislature is a key player in enacting the rules of economic and financial management, and for them to enact those rules that are incomformity with the rules of the level of interllectual capacity requires the need to upgrade their capacities.
Mr Foon believed that parliamentarians need to know the genesis or the origin of this development goals and what its intention is noting that Africa needs to accelerate in order to meet its target by 2015.
Honourable Saudatu Sani, House of Representatives, Federal Republic of Nigeria, outlined the similarites that African Parliaments share noting that poverty, health education and development is a concern and similarity in all African Parliaments. "Our problems are to work in our parliaments and see democracy work in Africa. We have all identified one big challenge which is weak parliment and a very strong executive in the sub-region.
Therefore, the need for training of the legislature cannot be over emphasizse. Our parliaments are economic independent and we need to have monies to do our work effectivelty. We as well need money to move bills" she said.
Other speakers include Fabakary Tombong Jatta, Majority leader and NAM for Serekunda East and Momodou L. Sanneh the Minority leader and member for Kiang West.
Author: by Musa Ndow