As he ends nationwide tour
By Lamin Njie
Assistant Information Officer
Ministry of Transport,
Works and Infrastructure
Hon. Ebrima Sillah, the new Minister of Transport, Works and Infrastructure has called on contractors and consultants to always show high degree of quality and standard in their construction works, especially Government funded projects.
The Hon Minister embarked on a week-long nationwide tour of projects under his Ministry with a higher-powered delegation from this Ministry and National Roads Authority (NRA).
His first stopped was at the late Sir Dawda Kairaba Jawara’s Mausoleum, currently under construction at the National Assembly complex in Banjul.
The delegation also visited the ongoing Banjul Rehabilitation Project, which comprises of the roads, drainage and sewage system of the capital.
When completed, the rehabilitation project would add a new face-lift to the nation’s island that has been in a state of serious deplorable condition for the city dwellers.
Later into the day, the Honourable Minister and delegation moved to the Gambia Ports Authority (GPA), where different components of the Port (the Ferry Terminal, the Jetty and the container storage facility (Dry Port), along bond road were visited.
On Tuesday, Hon. Sillah and his delegation proceeded to the OIC on-going projects to get first-hand information on the progresses and challenges of the works. This project includes the following. The 50km roads project which comprised of 20 new roads earmarked for construction; the Bertil Harding highway roads project which constituted the stretch from the airport junction to Sting Corner and the new VVIP Lounge under construction at the airport. On same day, the new Brikama market under construction was also visited by the Minister and delegation.
The next port of call for the delegation was the famous Nuimi – Hakalang roads project and North Bank Roads Lot 1 & 2. For over 50 years, inhabitants of that part of the country were left out without roads and other social amenities by the previous Governments.
The project, which is entirely funded by the Government of the Gambia, when completed, will bring total connection between major settlements in North Bank Region and the neighbouring country, Senegal in terms of trade and commerce.
Currently, the Government of the Gambia is building a new Governor’s offices and residence in North Bank Region. The project is virtually completed and ready to be inaugurated. The project is funded by the Government of the Gambia.
The new tolls in Jarra – Jenoi and Bereto on the Trans-Gambia Bridge were also visited by the Minister and his delegation. The two tolls are in full operation and traffic is flowing as expected.
The Sabach Sukoto road construction project was also visited. The road is ready and it will be opened for traffic in the not long – distance time. Kaur – Jimbala road, including Kerr Auldi and other parts of Saloum were visited by the Minister and team.
The new Basse market, which is now opened for business was also visited by the team and traders have started using the place. Different kind of stuffs are in place, ranging from food stuffs, clothes and vegetables among other things.
Consequently, each shop at the market has its own cash power- meter, fitted with latest fire hydrants and offices for security to protect the premises.
The delegation also drove over the new Basse bridge built by the Government of the People’s Republic of China and went up to Fatoto bridge, where a toll plaza, similar to the ones in Jarra – Jenoi and Bereto would be built as well. These toll facilities will generate more revenue for Government and also serve as a source of employment creation for the youth.
From Basse, Minister Sillah and delegation proceeded to the Kiang West Road Project which is about 87km long. The project which is for 12 months duration, when completed, will bring satellite villages closer to each other and ease the travelling difficulties in that part of the country.
The road will have drainage facilities and road markings as well. The project is funded by the Government of the Gambia.
Rehabilitation road works by the National Roads Authority near the Brumen Bridge in Kalagi was also visited by the team and work is in progress.
Minister Sillah commended the workers on site and urged them to redouble their efforts so as to finish the work on time.
Finally, the tour ended in Jambur, where road construction works connecting Farato and Jambur is on-going.
Speaking to Journalists at the end of the tour, Minister Ebrima Sillah revealed that for the next five years to come, Government intends to construction over one thousand kilometres of roads across the country.
He also said that most of the projects visited are doing well, even though some are a bit behind scheduled. He therefore, called on the contractors and consultants to tighten their belts and speed up the works as the raining season is fast approaching.
Minister Sillah also called on the youth of the country to take up employment opportunities with construction companies in the country, who sometimes have to go beyond the borders of the Gambia to look for workers.
He expressed his satisfaction that all the projects across the seven administrative regions of the country have registered progress and are on scheduled as expected.
The Minister was accompanied on tour by senior officials of the Ministry of Transport, Works and Infrastructure, Officials of the National Roads Authority and other relevant stakeholders.