“This is normal because the national associations are given money on behalf The Gambia and therefore it should be fair enough for the Gambia sports regulatory body to know how those monies are spent. This is transparency and good governance which is the new vision we are implementing at all organs of the ministry,” he said.
Another matter the minster emphasised, is the frequent complaints of sports associations taking people abroad in the name of sports, but with the intention of monetary gains and therefore abusing the name of The Gambia for their selfish gains. ”This is grossly unacceptable and the ministry and the NSC have and will continue to be very harsh in dealing with any such cases,” he warned. The minister said sports has a powerful effect in the lives of the people and therefore even the common man in the village has a stake in it. “So when the passion for it went wrong, or is misdirected, it could even have political dimensions,” noted.
Minister Jammeh said if the officials of the NSC could take all the punches and battering from the National Assembly on the way its finance is handled since its inception, it is only natural that the NSC also require institutions under its purview to conform to similar transparency ethics.
He said that is why he was pleased with the firm stance the outgoing council members took during turbulent times because they were convinced that they were protecting the national interest and those of the athletes.
But the minster admitted that wherever transformation happens, there is bound to be resistance hence the occasional noise within the fraternity. “However, what is important is for one to be focused when one is convinced that one is serving the nation,” he said.
Minster Jammeh reminded the incoming board that the challenges ahead are huge but they can count on his ministry’s support to empower them in their mission.
The permanent secretary at MOYS, Ouleya Camara, paid a glowing tribute to the strong resolution shown by former chairman, Bun Njie, and his team and urged the new members to be firm, pledging that the ministry would give them all the support needed. She said Gambian sports must graduate from its current state of pretension to real championship and trophy winners. Other speakers included NSC executive director Abdul Aziz Titao Mendy.