By Sarjo M. Camara and Lamin B. Darboe
Vice President Mohammed B.S Jallow, has said that the first retreat after the COVID-19 pandemic is expected to take stock of sector achievements and challenges for the year 2022 as well as the first quarter of 2023.
“This stock-taking exercise, from now on, must be a common feature of our undertakings,” he said at the Permanent Secretaries’ retreat recently.
He told senior government officials that the exercise must provide concrete evidence of progress, or otherwise being made against their set respective sector targets to help determine the right course of action needed to deliver on their mandates.
He said it is no secret that a lot of work is going on but a lot more needs to be done with a greater sense of urgency and efficiency.
He furthers the senior government officials that their actions require more focus on deliverables for the greater social and economic impact on the lives of citizens.
“While there are no shortcuts and quick fixes, it is within our grasp to do the important things, to do them well, and to do them without delay.Error! Filename not specified. Be rest assured that His Excellency President Adama Barrow is eagerly awaiting the results of your assessment and recommendations for the way forward to assure himself that, as a government, we are moving in the right direction and speed in addressing the promises we made to The Gambian people,” he said.
According to him, the achievement of past retreats resulted in such things as the creation of a platform and enabling environments to enhance the exchange of ideas on comprehensive policy diagnosis and institutional planning, which have contributed significantly towards the attainments of some of the short-and medium-term targets of the National Development Plan 2018-2022.
He added that equally, it is heartening to note that, the Presidential Priorities Projects launched alongside the National Development Plan 2018-2022 have all the hallmarks of a Green Economy anchored on a dedication to delivering results for the well-being of all Gambians irrespective of which region in the country they may be living.
He noted it is rewarding to acknowledge that this fact was confirmed at the previous Permanent Secretaries’ retreats.
VP Jallow disclosed that these priorities include a strong emphasis on sustainable infrastructure development, Human Capital Development (HCD), and Economic transformation.
He also said multiple projects and programmes are currently being funded targeting these areas to spur holistic growth and prosperity with the anticipation of making a meaningful impact on the livelihoods of ordinary Gambians.
“We may now look forward with great enthusiasm towards the launching and eventual implementation of the new Recovery-Focused National Development Plan 2023-2027 by drawing from this experience.
The successful implementation of these development blueprints alongside other strategies will form the basis of the foundation for the transition of our economy to middle-income status,” he pointed out.
VP Jallow stressed that the Permanent Secretaries retreat is a high-priority Government activity that takes place quarterly and from 2020 to date, the only retreat held was a virtual session organized in September 2020, noting this was due mainly to the Corona Virus pandemic affecting the entire globe.