Photo: Amie Bojang-Sissoho, DPPR

By Awa B. Bah

The press Secretary at the office of the president, Amie Bojang Sisoho on Wednesday 27th June 2018 announced that plans are underway for the establishment of an Anti-Corruption Commission in the Gambia. She said that this Commission is different from the investigation taskforce and that after setting up the Anti-Corruption Commission, she said its terms of reference will be clearly outlined.

While updating the members of the press during a press briefing at State House on the recent engagement with the president on current issues, she said that the President as of today was updated on the monitoring teams of the office of the President and that of the Ministry of Finance after the committee on the monitoring of the National Development Plan. She said that they are mapping out the technical, financial and material supports relating them to each of the sectors of the Gambia that will be supported from the pledges made during the international donor conference for the Gambia held in Belgium. She said that this will identify the location of all project involved. The high level economic committee she said had met with the Vice President and that the President was updated on the issues of concern.

The president she said has been engaged on the MGI and that an investigation taskforce has been setup to get the facts about the MGI to determine if losses have been incurred or not. This she said will further reveal and relate the losses if any in terms of technical or human capacity to manage the gateway.

On the situation regarding the agreement with Semlex, she said the contract agreement between Gambia and Semlex is in its final stage for the production of national identity cards. She noted that there is already an existing agreement between Gambia and Semlex and that they are reviewing that agreement so that the issuing of national identity cards will be effected

The Executive Director of the OIC has informed the president on the recent advocacy meetings that they have embarked on for the preparation of the OIC 2019 in the Gambia. The President, she said, was also notified on the advocacy meetings regarding the debt relief from the Paris club and the follow up from the Chinese support in the areas of agriculture, energy, and the Banjul Port. She said that negotiations are on through china for the debt relief.

The Pension Reform Bill she said was also tabled before the President for its review.

On the right to protest especially on the recent demonstrations and protests, she said the President does respect the rights of citizens to protest on conditions that they follow and fulfill the due process of acquiring a permit as well as ensuring that it is peaceful. This she said is in line with ensuring that citizens enjoy their rights with responsibilities. She said that it is in this context that he approved the recent “Defadoye” protest held on Sunday.

On the issue of Social Security and Housing Finance Cooperation protest and march to State House, she said that the President was informed and that he is aware of their concerns She said that the issue was not ignored by the Office of the President but there were consultations ongoing. She said that all parties involved are to submit their reports to the President before any decision is made. She announced that a new chair has been identified and appointed as the Board of Directors for the SCHFC. She said that any issue dealing with the institution shall be directed to the right process and procedures. She said that it is in this context that they engaged the delegation from SSHFC and that it was from the authority of the Secretary General they be welcome instead of declining to see them. She urged for the following of the due process and procedures of demonstrations and protests.

She also revealed that the President will attend the thirty first ordinary session of the Assembly of African Heads of State in Nouakchott on the first and second of July.

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