President Barrow to meet civil service leaders as reforms kickoff

President Barrow to meet civil service leaders as reforms kickoff

President Adama Barrow will be meeting at least 144 senior civil service workers at the end of January in his bid to have an efficient, effective and responsive public sector institutions, the first since taking power less than a year ago.

The Gambian leader has promised to reform the country’s civil service, which has been micromanaged by the country’s former President Yahya Jammeh.

He pledged to build strong institutions to avoid a repeat of the mismanagement, abuse of office, neglect of duty and corruption that were rife in the Jammeh administration.

“President Barrow will engage senior officials on key issues related to the Public Sector Reform. The public sector is one of the enablers that will complement the eight strategic priorities of the National Development Plan,” said the State House Press Secretary, Amie Bojang-Sissoho.

“The meeting will bring together all the Ministers, Permanent Secretaries, Deputy Permanent Secretaries, other senior officials and the heads of the state-own enterprises.”

Barrow has never held public office until his surprise win in 2016 polls, a decade after returning from the UK, where he studied to obtain a real estate certification. He had unsuccessfully run against opposition leader Mama Kandeh in 2012 for the MP seat in his native Jimara district, before Kandeh formed his own party.

Backed by seven opposition groups, he handed a humiliating defeat to both former self-serving ruler Jammeh and Kandeh in the presidential polls. Jammeh has left Barrow with a broken and indiscipline civil service.

Regulations, including financial guidelines, have been neglected in the Jammeh administration to the detriment of taxpayers, who lacked basic essential services. Jammeh used executive directives to ransack the treasury with civil servants said they feared to disobey his orders.

(Reporting and Writing by Sam Phatey; Editing by Assan Sallah)

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