It was a good thing that the president of the Republic of the Gambia addressed the nation through the National Assembly yesterday during the State Opening. In the address, the president touched on various issues. In almost all sectors of government and governance, the president spoke at length on his government’s plans and what strategies they are taking to ensure progress. This is welcome.
However, one thing is still a source for concern. The level of implementation of those plans and projects is what will serve as a measure of the government’s commitment to the ideals projected in the address. Many a time we have very good plans and strategies but we almost always fail in the implementation. It will be almost of no use to have good plans which will not be implemented. This is what sometimes causes ‘paper development’.
For the aims and objectives of the plans and strategies to be realized, there must be a way to ensure their full and total implementation. This requires self discipline from all stakeholders, particularly the government functionaries. If this is done, then we will achieve the desired objectives.
Thus someone must be tasked with the monitoring of the implementation of government projects and plans. The National Assembly has a huge role to play in this area. It must ensure that all ministries, departments and parastatals adhere to the plans and projects under their purview. Thus, they must have a vigorous monitoring mechanism which will compel stakeholders to stick to the plan and implement all strategies and projects wholly and transparently.
It is time that those wonderful plans and strategies be translated into actions and not just on paper. This is what a democracy entails. There must be a system of checks and balances to ensure that each ministry, department, directorate does what is required of it without wasting public resources.