4 January 2018

Gambia: Interior Minister Clarifies Administration of EU Funded Project

The New Minister of the Interior, Mr. Habib Saihou Drammeh, has clarified that the EU Funded project worth D200,000,000.00, is not administered by his Ministry and does not have a say in its arrangement.

Mr. Drammeh made this statement while responding to issues raised by Members of the National Assembly, during the adjournment debate on Friday 29th December 2017.

On the re-integration assistance for potential returnees form Europe, Mr. Drammeh said the EU Funded Project amounts to D200, 000,000.00 but that this is not administered by the Ministry of Interior but the International Organization for Migration (IOM); that his Ministry has no say in the administration of the fund. He however said that the returnees are entitled to a form of their own reintegration programme.

"According to the IOM, the reintegration assistance they will be giving will always be in kind", he informs the Assembly.

On issuance of national ID Cards, he said this has been a problem facing the Executive; that a committee has been established with a view to reach amicable solutions that would ensure the issuance of this national document sooner. He disclosed his amazement regarding the on-going issues regarding ID cards and said he has instructed the Inspector General of Police and the Director of Immigration to look into the matter. He added that he is ready to offer his apology to anybody who is offended; that this is a new dispensation. "Meanwhile, the Ministry of Interior has appealed to financial institutions to allow Gambians to use their current national ID cards whether or not they are valid, valid Gambian passport, national voters card and driver's license as means of identification", he appealed.

On the Kuntaya Police Station Project, Mr. Drammeh said even though it is a community project, The Gambia Police Force has contributed towards the funding; that he expressed dismay over the misuse of the funds, which he disclosed, warranted the police to take over the matter. He expressed optimism that the project will soon be completed. On checkpoints, he revealed that they are cognizant of the facts that security is paramount and are mindful not to trample on the rights of Gambians going on their lawful businesses unhindered.

"Therefore we recommended for intelligent and smart policing. I therefore call on the lawmakers to work with my Ministry so that the perception that security is deteriorating in this country is addressed", he said. He revealed that a new juvenile prison will be built in the Kombos; that a committee has been set up to look into prison reform and will also take child rights and welfare into considerations in the new prisons; that Hippos are agro-tourism conservation issues that need inter-sectorial collaboration to be able to effectively address their problems in the community farms.

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