By Olimatou Coker
Gambia Chamber of Commerce & Industry (GCCI) in collaboration with SaHel Executive Education (SEE) and Development Perspectives United Kingdom has over the weekend held a training on Public Private Partnership (PPP) asset recycling master class at the Coco Ocean in Bijilo.
Speaking, Ebrima Sillah, Minister of Transportation, Works and Infrastructure, said: “This training is extremely important especially to my ministry. As you know, we handle large scale infrastructure projects. And quite a number of these projects go through an international tender process and bids are invited to participate in the tender process and how you go about this is critical. And that is why this training is fundamental to our work, because it takes you through the various stages of the processes. Also, even the PPP model is important because what we have in this country is most of the time, we have what we call unsolicited offers where people come and they throw all kinds of proposals on you.”
He added that this will help all of them to go fully prepared into negotiation stages, how to deal with the different kinds of proposals that come either solicited or unsolicited, and then also the kind of PPP models.
“What are the assurance measures that you have to put in place, the risk mitigations and all sorts of things.”
He also encouraged all those that handle large scale infrastructure projects to partake in this type of capacity building, because it opens up a lot of issues. “It exposes you to a lot of issues that you take for granted.”
Ebrima Faal, Chief Executive Officer of Development Perspective United Kingdom, said the government is trying to develop this capacity to do public private partnerships with projects that are of importance to the country.
“This master class on public private partnerships is the first one that we are doing and is just for two days. The objective is to introduce the public private partnership techniques to a cross section of government but also the private sector and some of the parastatal organizations as well”.
Abdoulie Touray, Chairman Sahel Executive Education and Sahel Group, said they are organizing this master class purely for the fact that there’s a discussion about asset recycling Public Private Partnership, which is new in their vocabulary, and there is need to expose everybody what are the nuts and bolts of PPPs.
“How should it be structured, what are the terms and conditions, what are the social benefits or the economic benefits, what are the community benefits and how can we leverage the PPPs or asset recycling to fast track the development of The Gambia.
“We are happy that the policy makers are here. The Minister of Finance, Minister of Works, governor of the Central Bank, managing directors, directors, beneficiaries who should know about PPP’s in the classroom.”
He said that PPPs start with the community. “How are the communities going to benefit?”