PERMANENT SECRETARIES’ MID-YEAR RETREAT BEGINS

Abdoulai G. Dibba

The Permanent Secretaries’ Mid-year retreat scheduled from the 17 to 18 August 2017, has started at the Sheraton Coral Beach Hotel on Thursday 17 August 2017.

According to the coordinator, FabaJammeh, the retreat is organized within the spirit of harmonizing government’s development strategies particularly at the time when the new National Development Plan (NDP) is about to be formally launched.

The theme for the retreat he said is: “Judicious use of resources for improved performance and sustainable growth and development”.

With regard to the objectives of the retreat, the Coordinator said “one of them is to better prepare the sectors and other relevant stakeholders for the smooth transition from the programme for Accelerated Growth and Employment (PAGE) to the National Development Plan (NDP) in this new dispensation”.

In his opening statement, the Secretay General and Head of the Civil Service Dawda Fadera, said the bad political governance of the past regime had a debilitating effect on macroeconomic stability and management of the country and this was reflected in the poor fiscal discipline as evidenced by uncontrolled domestic borrowing to fund Government excesses and the frequent use of supplementary budgets to access significantly higher levels of total revenues than initially appropriated in the original budget and outright mismanagement of public resources.

Therefore he said, this retreat is geared towards preparing sectors and other relevant stakeholders for a smooth transition from PAGE to NDP, aligned to the new government’s objective of delivering good governance and accountability, social cohesion and national reconciliation and a revitalized and transformed economy for the wellbeing of all Gambians.

SG Fadera asserted that during these two days,they will have the opportunity to engage each other in active debates over strategies needed to support the country’s development aspirations especially, the National Development Plan.

“Developing coherent policies and strategies, systems and structures and other development tools, is critical to the realization of the socio-economic development but even more critical is attitudinal change,” he stated.

He said discipline and adherence to ethical standards as well as the rational use of public resources are equally important but key in all this, is patriotism and loyalty, which calls for sacrifices, selflessness and commitment to the national development agenda and welfare of others.

“As top public servants we have to serve as role models in terms of output and moral uprightness in the execution of our duties and as the old adage goes:‘‘to whom much is given much is expected,’’ he concluded.

After the official opening, the participants were taken through a lot of presentations on the days’ agenda, ranging from Finance, Agriculture, Trade, Industry, Employment, Health, Environment, Fisheries and so forth.

FOROYAA will follow the retreat and inform the public accordingly.