By Omar Bah
Abdoulie Hydara, the director general of the Gambia Tourism Board has confirmed to The Standard yesterday that the much-talked about EJ Investments’ estate in Sanyang does not lie within Tourism Development Area (TDA).
However, he said S&J Properties and Darboe Jula’s Estate Agency’s lands in Sanyang are affected.
Last week, GTBoard released a press statement in which they reported that estate agencies such as EJ Investments, S&J Properties and Darboe Jula’s were selling landed properties in the Tourism Development Area, notably Tanji, Batokunku, Tujereng, Kartong and Sanyang.
Now, the GTBoard boss has clarified that the only EJ Investments property affected is the land in Tujereng.
Hydara said all the real estate agencies that illegally bought lands within the TDA “will not be given the opportunity in the area again even if they are going to build tourism related structures”.
“If they are serious investors, they would have followed due process. They had all the opportunity to do that but they refused. They are Gambians, nobody will stop them from acquiring lands in this country, but it has to be through due process,” he asserted.
Meanwhile, in a separate development, the GTBoard has been accused of collaborating with Construct Limited for the building of waterfront residences and apartments on EJ Investments Properties in Tujereng.
But DG Hydara denied this saying GTBoard has no plans to transfer the land to Construct or any other company.
“The GTBoard is a very responsible government institution. We will never be involved in something that is unlawful. That will not happen under my watch. No Construct Limited or whatsoever will build non-tourism related structures in the TDA. The people of Tujereng deserve to have developments like those of Senegambia”.
Contacted, the head of Construct Limited, Fara Shams, confirmed that his company has been partnering with the Gambia Tourism Board through public private partnership to develop water front residence.
However, he said he has no idea about claims that GTBoard is planning to allocate EJ Investments lands to his company.