Barrow signs performance contracts with 3 SOEs, vows to introduce bill
President Adama Barrow yesterday signed Performance Contracts between the Executive and the Gambia Ports Authority (GPA), the Gambia National Petroleum Corporation (GNPC) and Social Security and Housing Finance Corporation (SSHFC), while vowing to introduce a State-Owned Enterprise Bill.
“It was thought appropriate to introduce an SOE Bill, which will be tabled before the National Assembly soon. Once passed, the SOE Bill will lead to the establishment of a Commission with oversight functions on all SOEs,” he said.
President Barrow stated that it is no secret that state-owned enterprises play a vital role in our national development endeavours.
He added that it is expected that in providing essential social services for the public, they do so in a financially and operationally robust manner to ease the pressure on Central Government resources and contribute positively to economic growth.
“Our experience is that despite the enormous investments made by Government in SOEs, many of these entities continue to post losses. This has made it necessary to devise a renewed strategy to change the narrative and strengthen their operations and performance,” he said.
He reiterated his government’s commitment to solving the trouble of ineffective SOE oversight, which he said has contributed to the current low-performance levels of some public enterprises.
To this end, he said his government has taken important steps to remedy the legacy of issues constraining Public Enterprise operations, saying the key among them was to conduct a Special Purpose Audit on all thirteen SOEs in the country.
“We have reached a critical stage in the development process of this country wherein all public institutions have to deliver on their mandates in the most efficient, effective, and transparent manner. That is the only way we can realise our collective goals as a nation,” the president noted.
Barrow revealed that his Government will continue to work with all public enterprises and ensure that they do not only deliver public services in a reliable and efficient manner but also contribute to Government fiscal operations by disbursing dividends payable to their shareholders.
He said the contracts are designed to challenge SOEs and spell out the roles they are expected to play to achieve the objectives and targets set for them.
He added that they are to ascertain that SOE performance and results are closely and rightly monitored and measured.
The President further stated that the contracts are to guarantee the establishment of a strategic framework for accountability and effective communication between the enterprises and their stakeholders.
“Public expectations are high in the country. With relevant competence, authority, and integrity, SOE Boards should execute their functions of strategic guidance, monitoring, and management oversight by acting in the best interest of their public enterprises and shareholders.”
Source: The Point