State House, Banjul, 10 February 2018President Barrow has been engaged in a series of activities at State House over the week.  The latest of his engagement was a meeting with the senior Command of the Gambia Armed Forces, on Friday,9th February,2018.   President Barrow told the GAF high Command that the meeting was a family re-union and in a family each member has a responsibility and that goes with challenges.  He urged the GAF members to take up their role to defend the country and remain loyal to the Gambian people and the government of the day to ensure stability.  There was frank discussion and the Armed Security was urged to accept the verdict of the citizens and move on with the agenda to advance the country.  President Barrow, who double as Commander- in -Chief of the Gambia Armed forces, reminded the security in his assertion, “We won the war, let us maintain the peace and collaborate with others like ECOWAS.”  He emphasised the role ECOMIG continued to play during the impasse but also acknowledged the maturity the GAF displayed by respecting his order for them to stay in their barracks.  Responding to their challenges, President Barrow informed them that plans are at advanced stage to have an academy to support the capacity building of the Armed Forces.  The President stated that governance is a process and his government would do what it could to support them.  He concluded that as a leader, he want to leave a positive legacy not by how long he stays in power but what he is able to achieve.

The Chief of Defence Staff, Lieutenant General Massaneh N. Kinteh made a presentation of the GAF’s reform strategies, gave an overview of its history, the structures and vision.  He highlighted the re-structuring activities they undertook to strengthen the capacity of the forces, the challenges and recommendations to modernize the army.  The detailed briefing outlined logistical issues, infrastructure and other needs of the GAF.  During the interactive session, it gave opportunity for other members to express their loyalty to the country through their Commander- in- Chief, President Barrow.

Deputy, Chief of Defense Staff, Major General, Yankuba A. Drammeh gave the vote of thanks.

Meanwhile, President Barrow swore-in the Chairman of the Public Service Commission, Mr. Lamin Samateh and Lamin Sam Jaiteh, a member during a Cabinet meeting held on Thursday, 8th February 2018.  The duo swore to the prescribed oaths of office, allegiance and secrecy to the Republic of The Gambia.  The President described them as humbled, principled and hardworking and that their service is needed as well as wished them success in their work.

The newly sworn-in Chairman Samateh committed on behalf of his colleagues to ensure that qualified people are appointed and they would advise on the civil service reform, recruitment and retention.

The Vice President, Madam Fatoumata Tambajang on behalf of the government thanked them for honouring the appointment and advised them to comply with the oath as the work for an efficient, open and transparent civil service to deliberate on its functions.

Later that Thursday, Cabinet discussed duty waiver and tax exemption, the code of good corporate governance for state-owned enterprises in The Gambia, and auctioning of government vehicles.  They also discussed amendment of the national audit office Act 2015, proposal to review the NYSS Act 2015; NEDI Act 2013; Resident’s international award scheme Act 2015; Independence Stadium and Friendship Hotel Act 1999.  A comprehensive nationwide staff audit 2017 report was also tabled in cabinet. The Cabinet meeting will continue next Thursday, 15th February, 2018 and that will mark the beginning of the weekly Cabinet meetings.

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