Friday, September 24, 2010

NAMS Unhappy with the Permanent Secretary for Agriculture

“Mr. Bakary Trawally Arrived at the Workshop at the 11th Hour”
VOL: 1 ISSN: 08: Members of the National Assembly on Friday 11th December, 2009 expressed their disappointment for the late arrival of Permanent Secretary at the Ministry of Agriculture to present a document on the state of the country’s agricultural sector.
Mr. Bakary Trawally, who was supposed to make his presentation earlier during a two-day National Assembly workshop, organised by Pro-Poor Advocacy Group (Pro-PAG) and funded by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) at the Paradise Suite Hotel in Kololi, arrived at the eleventh hour of the programme.

The Permanent Secretary arrived at the workshop on the final day when almost all works were at the finishing stages and the workshop was about to close. When he was called to deliver his presentation, lawmakers were bitterly arguing whether to or not to give him a chance to present his paper for the fact that should have come earlier.
The incident, to some extent compelled some NAMs to mach out of the Conference Room and some could not even hide their disappointment with the Permanent Secretary for Agriculture when they said at the top of their voices; “let him not waste our time, why didn’t he come on time or either delegate his deputies or make a call to explained the reason for his lateness.”
Hon. Sellu Bah, National Assembly Member for Basse stressed that the permanent secretary has dishonored their request as NAMs, and neither delegate his deputies nor come to the workshop on time to enable them have first hand information on the performance and challenges facing the agriculture sector.
Hon. Bah stated that the national assembly has a high level of interest in agriculture and the importance of the sector cannot be compared to any national development. He said that this can be attested to even during their debate on 2009 to 2010 budget estimate for the fiscal year 2010.
He said that he did not see any reason why the Permanent Secretary failed to honour their invitation, citing that he was sent an invitation in advance prior to the workshop.
He also argued that it was him (Sellu Bah), together with his colleagues and the Clerk of the national assembly who called the Deputy Minister for Agriculture, Momodou S. Kah who is in Dakar, Senegal on his mobile phone, asking him why he did not attend or delegate his deputies to the workshop to present on his behalf.
Hon. Bah explained that through that interrogation with the deputy minister, he was made to understand he (the deputy minister) has already assigned the permanent secretary to attend the workshop and make a presentation on his behalf.
“It is quite true that all the ministries in the cabinet have there own national policy, how a very important sector like agriculture cannot have a national policy,” he quizzed.
He also argued that some public servants did not respect the national assembly as on many occasions, public servant have failed to respond to their call and this need to stop.
Others speakers who subscribed to Hon. Sellu Bah’s arguments were Hon. Mama Kandeh of Jimara Constituency and Hon. Abdoulie Saine of Banjul South. They all express their dissatisfaction with the Permanent Secretary for Agriculture.

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