Barrow calls for vigilance against corruption in Gambia

Banjul, Gambia (PANA) – Gambian President Adama Barrow has called on his compatriots to be vigilant against corruption.

He was speaking on Saturday during the maiden edition of consultative dialogue on the theme: "Stake in the nation: attaining progress in the New Gambia."

He said: "We must be vigilant against the problem of corrupt practices. My administration declares intolerance to all forms of corrupt and fraudulent practices. Misappropriation of funds, bribery and corruption in public office are illegal, disgraceful as well as breed mis-trust, and negative acts.

“In the New Gambia, 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.”

He also told the gathering to be vigilant for the opportunity of infrastructure-led development saying Gambians need good roads and other social amenities, such as water, energy and sewerage systems to complement the development of private citizens and communities.

“If we have appropriate and world class infrastructure in place, that 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,” he said.

He added: “We have the opportunity to create a growing and inclusive economy that provides well-paid and sustainable jobs for all levels of skills.”

The Gambian leader emphasised that all Gambians at home and abroad have a stake in ensuring that they attain progress in their beloved country.

For nearly a generation, Barrow continued, our time, resources and efforts were spent to oppose, counter and defeat the dictatorship and the brutality it represented.

“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 victimization of our people.  

“We should now fight for the best course of actions. We have a National Development Plan (NDP) and we must focus on having the operational excellence to succeed its implementation,” he added.

President Barrow further called for vigilance against the fundamental development challenges Gambians 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. Therefore, let us be humble, honest and open in our reflections; and accept our shortcomings and learn the appropriate lessons. As I said in my statement to the Gambian diaspora in New York last September, ‘a government that listens and learns is a government that improves and succeeds,”’ he underscored.

Turning his attention to Gambia’s public sector, Barrow called for vigilance against the problem of a dysfunctional public sector, urging all to embrace nation building, with dignity for the Gambian people.

He said those elected or appointed to public office were obliged to safeguard the human, civil and development rights of Gambians, and to provide quality services to the citizens.  

“This is an obligation in our political, social and legal contracts. My administration believes that fundamental and enlightened change is needed in the public sector.

“The anniversary of the formation of the coalition government is an occasion for reflection. We will continue to pursue the public sector reform programme for comprehensive change to entrench public interest in the services,” he stressed.

According to President Barrow, the Gambia needs a modern, professional, credible and well-motivated civil and public service which will 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 workers. 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,” the Gambian leader noted.
-0- PANA MLJ/MA 14Jan2018

14 january 2018 09:34:24

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