Mr. Adama Barrow, the President of the Republic of The Gambia has met local and international journalist at a press conference held at the Office of the President in Fajara on Thursday, July 27.
The Gambian leader answered tons of questions on governance, the economy, human rights, youth unemployment, development blueprint and constitutional reform among other important issues.
“Political campaign and governance are not the same. When you take over a government you realize it is full of challenges,” President Adama Barrow said.
President Barrow called on the Gambian people to exercise patience as his government will surely deliver on the promises made during his campaign that brought about the downfall of the former president who ruled the country with an iron fist for the past 22 years.
“We will get there,” he added.
Barrow told journalist about the plans of his government to provide a development blueprint which is expected to be complete in the next two weeks as the Secretary General and Head of the Civil Service is compiling the papers.
The Gambian leader said his government’s top priorities is to revive the economy and the energy sector. He asserted that the economy was almost empty at the time of assuming office which he said has made the Finance Minister the busiest minister in the cabinet doing everything possible to rebuild the economy. He also talked about the energy sector, saying they have a roadmap for NAWEC, a short and medium term plan to stabilize things. He added that the agreement with Senegal is part of the short term plan.
He talked about the country’s petroleum particularly the oil mining project formerly called by the former president as the ‘ALHAMDULILAH PROJECT’. He claimed that the prospects are high as bigger companies are bidding for contracts. He promised that the project will be very transparent and there will be accountability.
President Barrow said his government is planning to set up more commissions including the establishment of the Lands Commission to look into the the cases of communities and individuals whose lands were forcefully taken.
The president was further questioned about a post on his official Facebook page that threatened to charge journalist with sedition but the president does not give a direct answer as to whether he was aware or responsible of the said post. He only talked about his government’s commitment to bring in good media laws. He promised his government will be very media friendly which he said is the reason why he appointed a senior journalist and activist in the person of Demba A. Jawo as the Minister of Information, Communication and Infrastructure.
“A healthy nation is a wealthy nation,” he interjected.
He talked about the plans of his government to provide health services as they are doing everything possible to reform the country’s health sector.
President Barrow told journalist that the Bamba Tenda/Yelli Tenda bridge project is at an advanced stage. He disclosed that efforts are on the way to bridge Banjul/Barra river. He also promised to bring back a better river transport like in the past.
Meanwhile, the president said his government has not signed any agreement with European countries to deport the Gambian nationals.