By Omar Bah
The management of Brikama Area Council (BAC), stakeholders in West Coast Region and the Africa Development consultancy group have recently validated the council’s strategic development plan at a day-long consultative meeting held at the governor’s office.
According to the council, the strategic development plan was drafted since 2014 to respond to the developmental aspiration and challenges in West Coast Region.
Speaking at the meeting, the governor of West Coast Region, Ebrima Mballow said the validation of the strategic development plan of the council which has undergone diagnostic assessment and review by the African Development Group (ADG) is an historic moment for the council.
“This document which is the development blue print of the council, would serve as its working tool in the coming years. It is a document that will guide the council to achieve their targets that are set therein,” he said.
He said the office of the governor would continue to give its utmost support to the council in its drive to championing the development of the region through the utilization of the development blue print.
“My office will ensure that the council remains to be vibrant and developmentally oriented and takes charge of the needs of the tax payers,” he added.
The director of governance, ministry of lands, Pakejaw Darbo said the lans ministry and the directorate are currently implementing Action-Points in the Decentralisation Policy 2015-2024 which is the road-map for decentralisation program.
“Decentralisation in The Gambia was therefore conceived within the framework of the country’s local government and decentralisation reform program. As an alternative country-wide development strategy, it was derived from a broad consultative process that involved all local, national and international stakeholders,” he said.
He said this was designed to strengthen local government in order to facilitate more effective citizen participation in governance and accountability in the delivery of public service as the basis for decentralisation.
“For example, when the central government transfers some of its powers and authority to democratically elected councils, local authorities were empowered by law to determine local taxes, raise their own revenue and decide on how to use it,” he said.
Also speaking, the chairman of Brikama Area Council, Bakary Saibo Sanneh said the strategic development plan will help the council to critically capture the aspirations of its people and as well give them a better understanding on how best they can work to achieve their goals.
In a separate development, the council also handed-over ten motor-bikes amounting to four hundred and fifty thousand dalasi to staff and revenue collectors at the council.
This, according to the council’s CEO, Mam Sait Jallow is intended to ease the mobility of their staff, especially the revenue collectors who are within the greater Banjul area.
“We are also planning to do the same thing for their other task collectors in other parts of the region,” he said.