By Omar Bah
The Gambian leader has said that his government will not entertain any form of corruption and fraudulent practices in the new dispensation.
Speaking at a Consultative Dialogue on the theme: Stake in the Nation: Attaining Progress in the New Gambia organized by GK Partners and the Office of the President at the Kairaba Beach hotel Saturday, President Adama Barrow said “Misappropriation of funds, bribery and corruption in public office are illegal, disgraceful as well as breed miss-trust, and negative acts.”
In the New Gambia, President Barrow said public office is a means for noble service for the good of the people. “My administration is working to create a vibrant social economy, facilitating legitimate wealth creation through provision of socially beneficial goods and services.”
“We must be vigilant for the opportunity of infrastructure-led development. We need good roads and other social amenities, such as water, energy and sewerage systems to complement the development of private citizens and communities,” he added.
He said if the appropriate and world class infrastructure is put in place it can trigger the medium and long term transformation of The Gambia from a country with high levels of unemployment and poverty, to medium income status.
One year after Jammeh
Barrow said: “One year after our victory, I proclaim to the nation that never again shall we suffer the brutality, humiliation and the injustice of dictatorship or accept the victimisation of our people.”
“We should now fight for the best course of actions. We must be vigilant against the fundamental development challenges we face; and be vigilant for the new opportunities we have created for ourselves. We all fought to give us the freedom and human rights stolen from us for too long,” he said.
The Gambia, he added, needs a modern, professional, credible and well-motivated civil and public service that would live up to their oath to serve without fear, favour or ill will.
“Our reforms will attract and retain the best skilled and most experienced. Competence and performance will be rewarded, whilst support and incentives will be provided to stimulate professional development. Incompetence, unfairness and indifference have no place in the public sector of the New Gambia,” he said.
Barrow said: “We must be vigilant for the opportunity of diaspora-development. The enormous capacity, capabilities and potentials of the diaspora are not fully utilised by The Gambia. This is a loss to our country. My administration recognises the Gambian Diaspora as the Eighth Region of The Gambia.”
“We will seek to remove all unnecessary bureaucratic barriers; assist diaspora individuals and organisations to implement their projects; in order to enhance diaspora interventions to create jobs and improve development outcomes,” he said.
He continued: “We need to protect irregular, young and vulnerable migrants, and when necessary, facilitate their safe and voluntary return home, in line with human rights provisions.”
“Most importantly, we strive to realise the UN vision that, ‘migration should be a choice, not a desperate necessity,” he concluded. The forum was organized to present the outlined draft of the Gambia Diaspora Strategy 2018 -27 and gather feedback as well as discuss the modalities and practicalities of the Gambia Diaspora Directorate GDD among other things.