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Monday, September 21, 2020

For any gov’t to succeed, it must be accountable – Hon Jammeh

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Speaking to The Standard yesterday shortly after arriving from a regional conference on accountability and the annual general meeting of WAAPAC, Mr Jammeh said: “For any government to succeed, and have good governance it must be accountable to the people. If people entrust you with their powers, you should be accountable, open to them, and be able to tell them how you spend their money. For example in The Gambia, we start with the central government, and end with agencies and departments. If a government wants to be considered credible, it must explain to taxpayers how their monies are spent. One of the successes of the APRC government is that the national cake is shared equitably. What we learn is not only how monies are spent, how the managing director, minister or the director exercises his power, we want to know how as the head of the institution or the ministry, the official exercised the powers and privileges given to him; whether fairly or not.” 

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The Ecowas MP said: “We had a conference on how accountable our governments are to our people. For us in The Gambia, we have what we call National Assembly retreats where members come face to face with the electorate to discuss issues affecting them. It offers an opportunity to scrutinise National Assembly members. This was discussed in Burkina Faso. 

“At WAAPAC, I was re-elected to serve another term as second vice president of the association. At the end of the conference, we passed resolutions about how to actualise what we agreed upon in Burkina Faso. For us here in The Gambia, we are very keen to work on those resolutions especially the public accounts and enterprises committees. In other countries in the sub-region, when reports are written and sent to the executive, they collect dust. For us in The Gambia, it is the contrary. Therefore, the Burkina Faso resolutions are calling on states to act on those recommendations and observations made in the report.

“For us in The Gambia, when reports are sent to the executive, they act quickly. The president will set up a task force chaired by the Minister of Justice, including two members of PEC/PAC, the Inspector General of Police as well as the Minister for the Interior to act upon the recommendations. Therefore, unlike in other countries, our reports do not collect dust and issues raised during PEC/PAC are dealt with seriously. We want to thank the leadership for the political support. Countries in the sub-region are learning from us. Even South Africa came here two years ago and we had a retreat where they learnt best practices from us.”

He Said WAAPAC is very concerned about the slow pace of implementation of resolutions passed at conferences adding: “WAAPAC intends to form a committee that will go to all these countries to see their levels of implementing the resolutions.”

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