By Tabora Bojang
President Adama Barrow has commissioned a 225/30 kilo-volt OMVG substation in Jarra Soma designed to improve the supply and distribution of electricity in The Gambia and other parts of the sub-region at a ceremony attended by Macky Sall of Senegal and Umaro Sissoco Embalo of Guinea Bissau respectively.
The OMVG energy project funded by the African Development Bank, World Bank, Islamic Development Bank and Kuwait Fund for Development among others to over US$722 million involves The Gambia, Guinea, Senegal and Guinea Bissau.
The Soma substation is one of 15 substations under the OMVG energy projects and its power supply will be generated from the Kaléta and Souapiti hydroelectric plants in Guinea.
Commissioning the project on Saturday, President Barrow who is also the current chairman of the OMVG, said the successful completion of the project deserves “endorsement and commendation” on the African continent that as Africans we can unite, work together and develop the African continent for the larger interest of its people.
“Three years ago, we gathered here to mark the beginning of The Gambia’s ambitious OMVG electricity project. After years of hard work and patience, we are here to celebrate the successful completion of that groundbreaking project and to reap the fruits of our joint efforts and investments. Indeed, we have come, finally, to inaugurate the Soma sub-station. I am hopeful that its significance and impact will be positively felt and welcome within the sub-region.
The president stated that the OMVG project is an additional link of his government’s policy and goal in ensuring safe, stable and affordable power supply for national use and ensuring access to electricity countrywide.
“From now on, Soma and its surrounding communities will enjoy regular electricity supply distributed from this substation. You deserve no less and will receive no less from my government,” he added.
Barrow disclosed that the OMVG sub station in Brikama is also expected to be commissioned in December 2021 which will provide an additional 50 mega-watt power supply to the entire country.
“With that there will be no power outages in The Gambia after December. I believe all genuine Gambians should rejoice at this accomplishment. I have said in the 2016 campaign that I am not a politician, I am a businessman and I am not here for play but to work and this is why I am calling on all my supporters to shun the baseless talks and let us work, work and work.”
However, the president also lashes at people he calls “enemies of progress who were bent on plotting” against his development projects.
“I pray to God to help change the mindset of these people because they assume that if Barrow is allowed to accomplish all his development programmes they will never have a chance to rule this country. I know some of them would be burying jujus at this site to prevent this inauguration. By Allah, they cannot do anything to stop people accessing this electricity. These are crooks and crooks only rest when sleeping or when they die. They will rather die but this project will continue,” Barrow charged.
He hailed former Gambian president Sir Dawda Jawara for pioneering the OMVG project 30 years ago, saying he was elated that the long sought ambition of the country’s founding president has now been realised under his regime.