EYEAFRICA TV: State House, Banjul: President Adama Barrow Thursday morning swear-in new cabinet ministers at State House in Banjul, and reminded them that their appointments result from the need to review his cabinet performance and effect changes, if required.
“As we embark on the process of nation building, we cannot keep doing things the same way, and expect different results. Positive change leads to positive results. This is one of my government’s guiding principles,” Mr. Barrow told his new appointed officials.
On August 22, President Barrow effected a cabinet reshuffle that saw his relieve his interior minister, Ebrima M Mballow and replaced him with the police chief Yankuba Sonko. He also appoint former Ambassador to the United States and Consul General at the country’s consulate in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, Sheikh Omar Faye as new defence minister.
“Our country is going through a phase of transformation, which calls for strong structures and a solid human resource base. To realise our goals as a government and a people, we must stand united and work to change the country for the better. Since coming to office, my priority has been to put our institutions in the right form, monitor and review their processes and successes, and take proper action.”
He said peace, security and the rule of law are key factors for stability, saying with that in view, he decided to let go the portfolio of Minister of Defence to a Cabinet Minister to lead the sector reforms.
Mr. Barrow said because it is also important to fast track the internal security sector reforms, he trust that with the new Interior Minister, a sharper focus and more urgency will attend the security reform programme.
“I am glad that both Ministers have the expertise and experience to strengthen the peace, security, stability and rule of law we have established so far. In the current democratic dispensation, both the security personnel and the civilians must play their role. Key, in this regard, is respect for the rule of law.”
According to him, speeding up the civil service reform requires positive work ethics and discipline, saying the Secretary General, Permanent Secretaries, Heads of Department and all civil servants have to assert the right disciplinary measures and standards in their operations and procedures. “We do not have the luxury to slow down Government machinery, nor the country’s progress. The only option is to sincerely commit ourselves to service.”
Mr. Barrow emphasised that although ‘we’ are individually entrusted with positions of trust, individual attitudes towards work will reflect on the collective achievements. “Out of necessity, we have to serve as role models, and take positive steps to reform our institutions. Our positions compel us also to promote and ensure transparency and accountability. It is for this reason, and to reduce waste and corruption that Government now has a single consolidated fund.”
He said corruption is not about financial mismanagement only but includes abuse of authority, cheating on hours of work by delaying outputs and refusing to follow the right procedures and processes.
He reminded cabinet members that as public servants, they should be ready to face the task of building the right institutions with the right frame of mind, saying the country needs people who serve sincerely, no matter what their political affiliation may be. “It is not acceptable for anyone entrusted a position of trust to undermine the Government’s policies and programmes for political considerations. What we need are the right people to take responsibility for our institutions, and lead the implementation of our policies and programmes.”