Two months after coming into office, the 12-man transitional management team at the Kanifing Municipal Council is at the peak of transforming the municipality to serve its purpose as well as laying a solid foundation for the incoming mayor and team next May.
Led by Bakary Jammeh, who was unanimously elected as chairperson by the 12-man team assisted by Miss Marie Dacosta, the interim council managed to increase the revenue base of the KMC as well as improve its service delivery to unprecedented levels.
“When we took over we set out ourselves with three main tasks through three sub- committees. One is an establishment committee which established the status of the council and all its directorates; the second was the finance committee which deals with the council’s revenue generation and expenditure; and the general purpose committee that deals with service delivery and other matters,” said Interim Chairman and acting mayor Bakary Jammeh.
Mr Jammeh disclosed that all these committees got to work by practically confirming what is available on the ground since there was no official handing over, by visiting its offices, markets, parks, community facilities among others things.
“After that assessment, we realized that the KMC is a very challenged organization, which to start was D5M in red, was collecting waste from only 6 dumpsites of 23, and out of 800 staff many are actually not reporting to work, in addition to a very unkempt state of the head office and its annex which were used for things not in the mandate of the KMC such as Attaya vous, butcheries, camping for Yai Compins, etc,” Mr Jammeh said.
Mr Jammeh further revealed with the powers conferred on his committee by the Local Government Act which effectively mandated them to manage the municipality and provide services for its people, they got down to work in earnest.
He said to maximize revenue collection his team fixed persons to work with the personnel on the various revenue generating sources for the council which include rates, taxes, licenses, market dues, etc, “not only to improve collection but also to provide better service for the people.
We used the Serekunda market as the sample market and in no time increased the daily collection from D35, 000 to D55, 000 representing 57 percent increment. We introduced two rounds of cleaning, one in the morning and one in the night and removed the dumpsite in the market creating space for hawkers outside to have space inside the market. We also made 15 dumpsites operational and introduced a house-to-house collection of rubbish to eliminate the possibility of huge dumpsites all over the municipality.”
According to the interim Mayor, his team also introduced cash inflow and out flow planning which helped them control and remove all unnecessary expenditure including stopping of salaries of all unseen workers which contributed to the raising of the council’s revenue up to D12M Dalasi currently.
He said the council recently paid the commission of all Alkalolu which were unpaid for three years as well as paid counterpart contribution fees to Gamworks for four major road projects in the municipality in addition to and paying council’s debts.
Mr Jammeh said his team has now engaged all stakeholders in council matters, which now make the council accessible to the very people it’s meant to serve.
“It is hoped that by the time we hand over to the next mayor and team, they would find a solid foundation both resources and sound policies to start with,” Mr Jammeh concluded.