Barrow warns new ministers will confront complicated challenges

May 11, 2022, 10:47 AM | Article By: Pa Modou Cham

During the swearing-in ceremony of his new cabinet, President Adama Barrow warned new ministers that while it is an honour to hold such high positions, “the challenges you will confront could be as many and complicated as the tasks and roles” they will have to perform both in and out of office.

Speaking in Banjul, President Barrow said the ministers have been identified and appointed at a time when national institutions require strong leadership, responsive policies, transformative programmes, and better results that can positively and effectively impact national development and the quality of life in the country.

“Cabinet Ministers are generally considered to be political appointments, but it must be realised that you will have to ensure that your ministries are run by competent staff, with the right professional, administrative, and management structures in place to function efficiently. The leadership in government institutions sets the tone, pace, discipline and efficiency levels for the personnel.”

Barrow challenged new ministers to develop a culture of high-level performance, productivity and results within agreed timeframes in their ministries, saying this goes way beyond party politics.

He stated that there are lessons to learn from the last five-year transition phase, adding “although we registered resounding successes, the need to brace up for greater achievements and a sharper approach to nation-building is too evident to require emphasis.”

Barrow continued that ministers’ appointments to Cabinet have come at a time when Gambians want the Government to be held accountable. He indicated this is an era in which the citizens are better informed and politically more active.

“They now enjoy uncensored freedom of expression, association and participation in national issues, and are determined to fight corruption. As a result, public figures must think, act, and behave differently in the national interest. Our rate of development as a nation has not been fast enough over the past fifty-seven years of nationhood.”

He called on them to re-double their efforts to deliver on providing better living conditions and a conducive environment that sustains improved livelihoods. He said we will never catch up with other nations if we continue to focus on individual growth, instead of re-orienting ourselves collectively for the general welfare of all citizens.

“Because we cannot shy away from party politics in a democracy, my philosophy hinges on politics for development and development for the people. Let our focus and emphasis be in the best interest of the nation.”

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