Saturday, October 2, 2010

“You Either Work or Leave” – Jammeh Tells Government Officials

Time Is Running Out for Achieving Vision 2020 and MDGs

Banjul, The Gambia (TNBES) The President of the Republic of The Gambia, Yahya A.J.J Jammeh has warned that as far as achieving Vision 2020 and the objectives that Gambians has set to make this country one of the greatest on earth, there will be no compromise. “You either work or leave,” he told government officials at a meeting in his village (Kanilai).

The meeting brought together government officials (the President, vice president, cabinet ministers, and permanent secretaries) including key stakeholder in the implementation of the country’s development goals, The North Bank Evening Standard understands.

Our correspondent say the meeting is designed to look at the way forward for the country’s decision makers to review the country’ Vision 2020 document and the Millennium Development Goals. It also provides officials the opportunity to take stock of the past with a view to assessing the country’s progress and achievement, as well as shortcomings.

“The country is getting closer to the attainment of its vision by the day and there is a need for more efforts to attain it early,” the president said. “We have nine years and over 300 days to vision 2020, whereas the past 15 years we may have the luxury of dragging our feet, this time around we have no time, and time is not in our side,” president Jammeh told government officials and stakeholders.

He noted that the governmental review is aimed at achieving the country’s agenda, which has less than ten years to achieve its long-tern development blueprint Vision 2020, and less than five years to the attainment of the Millennium Development Goals and the Poverty Reduction Strategy Paper.

Jammeh stated that the reasons for the review are many, saying that as for the past 15 years there has never been an occasion where cabinet together with permanent secretaries and some key stakeholders sat in a forum to discuss.

According to him, the retreat is also meant for attitudinal change with regards to hard work, and to take note of the fact that only the Gambian people can lead the development of the country.

The Gambian leader also reiterated his call for honesty and sincerity, thereby putting the interest of the country and of the people first before personal interest. “Putting selfish interest first would give the country problems,” he argued.

He also said that the meeting is also meant to exchange ideas, as he puts it ‘official are the crews that will sail mother Gambia safely to a bright and prosperous future.’

The meeting is also meant for officials to rally priority development projects, noting that there are key principles if applied, would enable the country achieve its objectives in a short period of time.

He reminded cabinet officials of his call for every ministry to have its own priority projects, and every year, they must try to achieve one so that in five years they would have achieved five priority projects.

The president explained that in as much as he wants to achieve Vision 2020, he has his priority areas which include sectors such as agriculture, health, education and infrastructure. “All other sectors area equally important, but the aforementioned key sectors will not be compromised given the fact that they are very critical in building a solid modern country,” Jammeh told officials.

The three day meeting will ended on Saturday 16th January 2010. VOL:2 ISSN:32

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