House, Banjul, January 9, 2020 – The first Cabinet meeting of 2020, presided
over by Excellency President Adama Barrow on Thursday, 9th January 2020
discussed progress towards institutional reforms, the Basic Education sector
and promotion of culture and tourism.
Below is the full statement as read by the Minister of Information and Communications Infrastructure, Honourable Ebrima Sillah:
FIRST MEETING OF CABINET IN 2020
In its first meeting of 2020, Cabinet discussed and approved a paper presented by the Vice President on the Draft Pension Bill 2019 which seeks to repeal the Pensions Act of 1950.
Key important features of the new Draft Pensions Bill are that once it is ratified, pensioners will be paid retirement benefits within 30 days. Dependents’ pension for 5 years have also been introduced to enhance the quality of life of dependents of a deceased pensioner or officer in service.
To minimize the undue delay in the processing of pension benefits, there will be a centralized Directorate of Pension under the PMO charged with the responsibility for the administration and management of the pension of public sector workers.
The Directorate will be headed by a Director and shall have four core business units to manage registration, assess and verify benefit computations.
The Minister of Basic and Secondary Education presented an information paper on the results of the 2019 West Africa Senior Secondary School Examination Results. The 2019 results have registered a marked improvement over the 2018 one and the candidates qualified for university entrance also doubled over the 2018 results.
A higher improvement has been observed in core subjects like English and Mathematics with 1402 candidates scoring credit in English while 2548 candidates have credits in Mathematics. Female candidates have particularly performed very well in the science subjects compared to the 2018 results.
One notable issue in the 2019 results is the remarkable performance by Senior Secondary Schools in rural areas due to the rationalization of teaching resources and the availability of trained teachers across the country which is now paying dividends. More students have also registered great improvement in core technical subjects thanks to the strengthening of the Technical Vocational Education Training (TVET) in schools.
Cabinet also discussed an information paper on the Board Charter of NAWEC Board of Directors. The establishment of the Board Charter is part of the reform Project of State Owned Enterprises (SOEs) under the Ministry of Finance and Economic Affairs
The NAWEC Board Charter sets out the objectives and principles that the Board should operate under. It has made distinction between governance and management based on the Memorandum and Articles of Associations of the company and good industry practice. The Charter lays down roles and responsibilities clearly for the judicious and efficient running of NAWEC to achieve its corporate objectives and public policy directions.
Cabinet was also briefed on the inauguration of the International Roots Homecoming Festival scheduled to take place in December 2020. Already a high level inter sectoral committee has been setup tasked with the responsibility of the successful organization of the festival.