By Kebba Jeffang
The Minister of Information and Communication Infrastructure, Demba Ali Jawo, has confirmed that the crisis in the appointment of the country’s Vice-President as required by the Constitution continues as the President contemplates the issue.
Mr. Jawo was speaking in hisoffice when he held his maiden monthly press conference with journalists, on the 24th August 2017. Mr. Jawo talked on the burning issues prevailing in the country, as the spokesperson of government.
“The issue of the Vice Presidency is a prerogative of the President because he alone can appoint anybody in that position. I can assure you that very soon the Vice President will be appointed but I cannot tell how soon this is going to be. But the President is thinking very seriously about it,” he said.
He was questioned why the Minister of Women Affairs has been driving the vehicle labeled on the front number plate with acronym VP when she is not the one. Mr. Jawo responded that it is because she is the one overseeing the position even though she isn’t the substantive holder of the position.
Meanwhile, the Information Minister focused on the media law reform; that in order to create softness in the registration bond of the newspaper, the ministry is working with the Minister of Justice to see how to amend those laws either to repeal them completely or amend them accordingly so that they can be in line with best practices elsewhere; that there is a consideration of general Constitutional review which could address the issue instead of selection of clauses for amendment.
Regarding the Assets Declaration, he said: “Well I am not very sure if those two ministers who were left, declared their assets but I think everyone has declared their assets by now. I have to verify that anyway.”
Giving the reason why the government has parted with Africa Petroleum, Mr. Jawo said the latter’s license has expired and the Ministry of Petroleum and Energy decided not to renew it. “As long as they have no license, I cannot imagine them operating in this country until their license is renewed and the ministry has decided not to renew their license for one thing or the other. So that is the situation. No license, no operation,” he said.
Meanwhile, he said government of the Gambia and that of Senegal, have reached some agreement with regard to the supply of electricity; that the Gambia is geographically situated inside Senegal, and it makes sense for the two to share their facilities as far as electricity is concerned.
“There are areas in the Gambia which will be much cheaper to connect to the Senegalese national grid and the same situation goes for Senegal as well because there are areas in Senegal that probably will be cheaper on the Senegalese side to connect to the Gambia national grid. So if there is this agreement I think both sides stand the chance to benefit from the agreement.’’
- Jawo said recently the DG of SENELEC (Senegalese Electricity Company), was here to meet his counterpart and they are trying to cement those agreements in order for both countries to benefit.