Tuesday, May 30, 2017

President Barrow receives PSC Chairman G.O.Bright

President Adama Barrow 
It may have come at the tail end of the euphoria and countless photo ops but President Barrow has finally met the Chairman and members of the Public Service Commission which, in our view, is one of the most important events of his 4-month old government.

President Barrow promised Gambians that his government will provide us with a road map representing his short- to medium- term plan of his transition government for economic, political and social renewal.  He made the announcement curiously on a foreign news outlet which was later carried on local radio that the blueprint will be issued this month.

Any blueprint that will eventually emerge from the internal consultations currently underway, in the form of a road map, provides Gambians with a Barrow's road map to the end of his transition government, it will not be realized without being translated into actuality.  That task rests with the civil/public servants who are, in turn, managed by the Public Service Commission.  To finally have met with the Chairman and Members of the Public Service Commission, however symbolic, holds promise that the restructuring of the civil service will now be brought front and center as part of the transition process.

During the courtesy call, according to the press release, President Barrow lamented the low salaries of civil servants in relations to their private sector counterparts which can only be interpreted as an encouraging sign that their welfare is paramount in the president's mind.

In the same release, Barrow cited a litany of problems including the high domestic debt, which the previous regime borrowed from domestic commercial banks and a "lot of the money went into private pockets and not government." Although these undesirable outcomes are caused by both politicians and civil servants alike, it takes the dedicated civil servant operating within an independent civil service, to clean up the mess that, unfortunately, will negatively impact powerless Gambian that the government has sworn to protect from physical harm to rising cost of basic foodstuff.  

The President finally emphasized the need for an independent civil service and the press release ended his portion of the courtesy call in which he was directly quoted as saying "without the technocrats, the politicians will not succeed."  We expect President Barrow to match his words with action. Time is running out as signaled by the dwindling domestic enthusiasm and a rapid dissipation of the international goodwill that was discernibly on display only in January.