President Adama Barrow Presides over Presidential Delivery Forums

President Adama Barrow Presides over Presidential Delivery Forums

State House, Banjul, 7th March 2024: State House, Banjul, 6th March 2024: President Adama Barrow received a team of policy-makers, contractors, and technicians to review the state of projects in the country at a two-day Delivery Forum held at the State House in Banjul on 5th and 6th March 2024 respectively. 

The Delivery Unit of the Ministry of Public Service, Administrative Reforms, Policy Coordination and Delivery organises quarterly forums to update the President on work progress under the various ministries. It also provided an opportunity for frank discussions on critical issues for decision-making.

Ministry of Transport, Works and Infrastructure had a presentation led by Deputy Permanent Secretary Technical, Mr Ebrima Colley, which focussed on the state of the OIC roads, urban and rural roads projects funded by the Government and external partners. He gave the technical state of the works, financial situation, and issues relating to contractors and consultants. Mr Colley pointed out that the delays in some of the projects were associated with the relocation of NAWEC water pipes due to a lack of records of the pipe layouts in old settlements and the random erecting of electric poles in new settlements. 

Reacting to the presentation, President Adama Barrow said despite the budgetary issues, there was a need for further cooperation of Contractors and Consultants to ensure the timely completion of the projects, arguing that “the slow pace of projects would cost the government more”. The President expressed concern that the delays would require the revision of contracts and, at times, incur logistical costs that were not factored in the beginning. He said the Government is confronted with such challenges but would learn lessons from them regarding the relocation of services, demolition and right of way for future projects. Some challenges were attributed to poor urban planning and lack of proper records on the service locations.  

On a positive note, President Barrow was excited that the completion of the roads would “open up The Gambia, and his administration had set the pace for future governments and citizens’ expectations. So far, it has been reported that about 800 km of road works are ongoing in different parts of the country. 

The Minister of Transport, Works and Infrastructure Honourable Ebrima Sillah and the Minister of Public Service, Administrative Reform, Policy Coordination and Delivery Honourable Baboucarr Bouy, Permanent Secretaries, NRA staff, Contractors, Consultants, and technical staff of the Ministries and Office of the President attended the Forum.

In another delivery session on Wednesday, the Director of Planning at the Ministry of Health, Mr Gibril Jarjue gave an update on the Health Infrastructure projects since its last update in September 2023.

The update highlighted the significant progress made in the construction works at the National Emergency Treatment Center at Farato, the renovation at the main referral hospital -the Edward Francis Small Teaching Hospital, and the Poly Clinic in Banjul.

It also detailed the advancements in rural facilities, namely, Njau Major Health Centre and five health facilities at Salikenni, Kissima Jaw, Kiang Jali, Mankamang Kunda and Tumana.

While there was a common delay thread in all the projects, significant progress was registered since the last Forum in September 2023. The challenges identified related to relationships between contractors and consultants, management and disbursement of funds.

President Barrow underscored the importance of timely delivery in the Health Infrastructure project. He urged the stakeholders to treat hospital construction work as an emergency, stating, “When people are sick, they need to go to the hospital. Therefore, we must ensure the timely delivery of our projects.”

The President expressed his satisfaction with the Delivery Forum, noting its role in improving communication among stakeholders and addressing bottlenecks to project implementation. The Forum was also an opportunity for lessons learned in projects, including processes, management and implementation strategies, and safety and maintenance plans. He appreciated the engagement of all the relevant stakeholders in this process.

The Vice President, H.E. Muhammed B.S Jallow, Honourable Minister of Health, Dr Ahmadou Lamin Samateh, Permanent Secretary and technical staff from the Ministry of Health, GAMWORKS representatives and senior management and technical team at the Office of the President attended the Wednesday session.

The Delivery Forum is a quarterly session the Permanent Secretary Delivery, Mr Alieu Loum and team coordinate.

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