The Gambia Government — “Contrary to the misrepresentation of facts on the funding modalities of the new headquarters, town halls and allied facilities of the Banjul City Council (BCC), The Gambia Government states categorically, that this particular development is an output of the Rural Infrastructure Development Project (RIDF) benefitting all the municipalities and area councils across the country.
“Funded by the Opec Fund for International Development (OFID) at a cost of US$13 million, the project is executed by the central government through the Ministry of Lands and Regional Government with the Gambia Agency for Management of Public Works (Gamworks) as implementing entity. This is a loan facility to The Gambia Government negotiated by the current chief of staff (Office of the President) on 16th January, 2015 while he was serving as Permanent Secretary 2 at the Ministry of Finance & Economic Affairs. It attracts a 1.5 percent interest rate and a 20-year maturity period.
“Without ambiguity, The Gambia Government makes it abundantly clear, that not a single dalasi came from the World Bank as erroneously claimed by Banjul Mayor, Rohey Malick Lowe during her recent Star FM Radio interview.
Significantly, while The Gambia Government made a counterpart contribution of some US$555,000 (D25 million) in addition to servicing the US$13 million on behalf all councils; the totality of all the councils’ contribution is barely D39.6 million of which D39.1 million was disbursed. BCC was supposed to contribute some D8 million but paid close to D7 million. Whereas KMC has honoured its obligations under the arrangement, BCC still has an unpaid balance of D426,000 owed to Gamworks.
“To their credit, the former mayors of the Kanifing and Banjul municipalities, Yankuba Colley and Abdoulie Bah, initiated these projects.
While Mayor Lowe is right that President Barrow is the commander-in-chief of the armed and security forces, the record is equally clear that President Barrow, unlike his predecessor, exudes humility and tolerance towards all regardless of their opinion.
“Therefore, the Banjul mayor’s allusion to President Barrow’s powers in the context of the funding discourse for BCC projects is irrelevant and politically redundant. Ever since coming to power in January of 2017, President Barrow has not abused the use of the security forces and has no intentions whatsoever of stifling dissent as evident in the proliferation of newspapers, radio stations, televisions and social media platforms…”