Good morning colleagues and welcome to our media briefing.
The operations of the Fishmeal plant in Sanyang has been suspended until the existing laid down requirements have been fulfilled. Also, the one in Kartong has been closed down because the water treatment plant is not in the right shape, and the case is at the courts. Meanwhile, the President has been informed that the Kartong VDC wants the plant to re-open; however, the technical advice received by the president recommends that the plant do not reopen unless it has met the required standards.
The President has instituted an interim body to find out about all the land areas under dispute in the country, and it has been reported that 40 hotspot sites have been identified. While waiting for the establishment of the Land Commission, a Crisis Management Committee, chaired by the Secretary to Cabinet, has been set up as a temporary measure to look into the crisis.
The peace and security situation in the country has been generally calm until the Brikama incident where a man was killed. Investigations have been done and those that are suspected to have been involved are now remanded in custody. Contrary to earlier media reports that identified a driver and his apprentice as the alleged perpetrators, the alleged killer and a witness to the killing have come forward with confessions to the act.
On the Printing of national identity cards, Semlex is the contractor and the details of the contract are being reviewed. The President has been briefed that the review process of the agreement with Semlex is at the final stages.
Inspector General Police
The Deputy IGP Mamour Jobe has been confirmed as Inspector General of Police and Abdoulie Sanyang is now the Deputy IGP.
H.E. Meeting the Police Command
On Friday, His Excellency will hold a meeting with the heads of the Gambia Police Force at 10:00 AM at State House.
Demise of ECOMIG Soldier
The president has sent a condolence letter to the ECOMIG Commander Colonel Fulgence N’dour on the demise of a member of his command, Staff Sergeant Abubacar Abdulahi, who passed away by natural cause last week. Meanwhile, diplomatic and security arrangements are being made to repatriate the body to Nigeria.
The President has also been updated that it was no longer tenable to have Mr. Alhajie Kurang as Secretary to the Janneh Commission and has since been replaced.
A policy decision has been made to allocate some of the 20 Turkish buses donated to The Gambia to Edward Francis Small Teaching Hospital (EFSTH), Management Development Institute (MDI), University of The Gambia (UTG), Gambia National Army (GNA). The rest will be used for public transportation under the management and maintenance by the Gambia Transport Service Company.
Meanwhile, the Government Vehicle Policy has been finalized and will be submitted to the National Assembly for approval.
The President has been informed about the French government’s interest to support irrigation farming in the Upper River Region.
The President has been informed that none of the victims admitted needs overseas medical treatment. Most of them admitted at the EFSTH have recovered and are being discharged. The latest information is that only a couple of people are still being admitted for treatment.
Social Security and Housing Finance Corporation (SSHFC)
The new board of SSHFC will be meeting with the new Finance Minister, and if there is the need to have an independent body to look into the matter, it will be done. Meanwhile, the sit down strike by the staff ended yesterday.
The Resignation of the Vice President
President Barrow accepted the resignation of the former Vice President Fatoumata Tambajang from the government of The Gambia. In a letter dated 4th July 2018, Madam Tambajang declined the offer to serve in the Foreign Service. Her resignation came after she had been relieved of the position of Vice President and offered to work in the Foreign Service. She gave personal and professional reasons for her decision, and it was accepted by the President.
o President Barrow will attend the opening ceremony of the ECOWAS Regional Competition Authority Meeting, tomorrow, Thursday, 12th July 2018 in Bijilo. He would later chair a Cabinet meeting at the State House.
o On Monday, 16th July 2018, President Barrow will embark on a nationwide tour to meet with a cross-section of Gambians and discuss national development issues. As you may be aware, it is a constitutional requirement for the President to go round the country at least once a year to hear the concerns of the people, see firsthand development project and share with government development plans and policies.
Thank you for your kind attention. I will now take your questions. As usual please, identify yourself and the media house your represent.