By Omar Bah
The Gambia Tourism Board has assured the management of Baobab Hotel that its exclusionfromthe list of hotels to benefit from the Covid relief package was not politically motivated but only an oversightwhich will be immediately sorted out.
Baobab Hotel is owned by Abdoulie Kandeh, a brotherto opposition Gambia Democratic Congress leader Mamma Kandeh.
Immediately after its absence in the list of hotels to get the funds designed to cover bills owed to area councils and license fees, the GDC NAM for Jimara, Alhagie Sowe raised questions about the exclusion.
The GDC lawmaker demanded answers from Tourism and Finance ministers, Hamat Bah and Mambury Njierespectively.
Sowe said he could not comprehend why Baobab was excluded from the D19, 396, 940 that seeks to settle rates and license fees owed to area councils and operational license by hotels in the hospitality industry.
The lawmaker also demanded explanation on why Jimara was left out of the rural road project captured in the supplementary bill.
He informed the two ministers that the monies allocated for the hotels don’t belong to any of them as he demanded for fair treatment of all hotels.
When contacted for comments, the Baobab manager Abdoulie Kandeh said he was surprised by the non-inclusion of his hotel.
He said he has since raised the issue with the GTBoard who promised to address it as soon as possible.
“I have complained to the GTboard and they have promised me they were going to sort it out,” he said.
Kandeh said Baobab is also a member of the Gambia Hotel Association but has not been active for the past ten years or so due to professional reasons.
“But that should not be a factor to exclude Baobab because all my normal rates and GTboard license fees are paid yearly. I also pay all my taxes,” he said.