STATEMENT BY HIS EXCELLENCY, THE PRESIDENT OF THE REPUBLIC OF THE GAMBIA, ADAMA BARROW

Mamos Media

EVENT: INAUGURATION OF GPPC’S EXERCISE BOOK PRODUCTION MACHINE

VENUE:   KANIFING

DATE: 3rd MARCH 2021

Honourable Speaker of the National Assembly,  

My Lord, the Chief Justice,

Honourable Ministers,

Senior Government Officials, 

Head of Institutions and Service Chiefs, 

The Board, Management and Staff of The Gambia Printing and Publishing Corporation, 

Religious and Traditional leaders, 

Members of the Media, 

Distinguished Ladies and Gentlemen,

We are here today to commission a multi-million-Dalasi machine for the production of quality and affordable exercise books in the country. It is indeed a source of delight and honour to register the event as another milestone achievement for my government.

The accomplishment of this Gambia Printing and Publishing Corporation (GPPC) project is a huge development, as it borders on both education and Information Communication Technology (ICT). For obvious reasons, ICT is one of the critical enablers in the National Development Plan (NDP), 2018-2021 for the realisation of equitable access to basic services within the context of good governance and accountability.  

The exercise book production machine being commissioned today is worth about Fifty Million Dalasis (D50, 000, 000. 00). It has come at a time when the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic has brought about considerable delays in procuring goods and services from abroad. Consequently, having such a facility in the country will greatly help henceforth to guarantee timely provision of exercise books to our schools.

Distinguished Ladies and Gentlemen,

By virtue of its mandate, GPPC is entrusted with the responsibility of providing efficient print production services on a commercial basis for and on behalf of the Government, the public enterprises, non-governmental organisations and the general public. Their mandate embraces printing, publishing, distributing and marketing books and other literary materials, hence the justification for investing heavily in this Project. 

As you are all aware, and as spelt out in the NDP, access to affordable quality education for every Gambian is a key priority of my government. In this light, the procurement of the giant printing machine to meet the country’s demand for exercise books clearly demonstrates my government’s unwavering commitment to affordable and quality education for all. The new machine has the capacity to print twenty thousand (20,000) exercise books per hour, which is quite remarkable.

Ladies and Gentlemen,

Cognisant of the crucial role of GPPC in national development, especially as regards maximising revenue collection and securing Government receipt books, in January 2018, Cabinet granted exclusive rights to GPPC to print all Government revenue materials. 

Apart from enhancing the security of revenue materials, the installed production machine will facilitate the auditing of Public Enterprises and increase revenue collection. This development should reassure every one of my government’s determination to generate and protect the much-needed revenue to fund our national development projects.

On a similar development, through the Ministry of Basic and Secondary Education (MoBSE), Government has granted approval for GPPC to print the educational supplementary textbooks written by The Gambia Writers Association and approved by MoBSE for use in Gambian schools. 

One of the benefits of this initiative is the timely provision of quality, affordable and reliable educational materials to schools for effective teaching and learning.

Distinguished Ladies and Gentlemen,

Investing handsomely in facilities that impact positively on the lives of the Gambian people is commendable and worthy of celebration; however, managing them to achieve the desired results has been a daunting challenge. 

To address this, I implore the Board, management and staff of GPPC to ensure proper management and maintenance of the machine. Use it maximally within its expected lifespan, and allow it to generate revenue for reinvestment in other critical areas. 

In this way, it would help boost the financial status of GPPC, and make it a thriving and dividend-paying public entity in a growing private sector environment. Attaining this requires commitment, dedication and team work. 

I call upon all Gambians, businesses and institutions, both public and private, to support GPPC to maximally utilise this remarkable book production machine.

Distinguished Ladies and Gentlemen, 

On behalf of Government and the Gambian people, I extend our sincere gratitude to the Board of Directors, staff and management of GPPC as well as the Ministry of Information and Communication Infrastructure for this laudable achievement. Be rest assured that my government will continue to support GPPC and, by extension, the ICT sector in the quest to transform the country into a digital nation. 

I now declare the exercise book production machine officially commissioned.

I thank you all for your attention. ​

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