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Saturday, September 26, 2020

Letters: Gambai oil exploration, why not China?

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Dear editor,

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If there’s oil and gas in the waters of Senegal and Mauritania, there’s oil and gas in the Gambian waters.

The exploration and drilling of oil and gas in the Gambian waters is the best economic development phenomenon that could have happened for The Gambia.

Yet the Barrow government cannot even find a reliable partner to explore and drill for oil and gas in our waters.

Our government keeps signing unfavorable deals with one dodgy company after another.

The exploration and drilling of oil and gas in Gambian waters is the most important economic development asset for The Gambia.

And the operation of oil and gas industry in The Gambia ought to get the most serious attention of The Gambia Government.

Yet Gambians are told time and time again that this company has come in and that company is leaving.

No one knows what is going on.

I’d like to think that had the Barrow government taken a more realistic approach to the exploration and drilling of oil and gas in our waters, by now The Gambia would have been benefiting from the proceeds of the enormous advantage of having oil and gas industry in The Gambia.

The Barrow government is only engaging companies that are involved in the oil and gas industry in Senegal as if The Gambia cannot make its own contacts and engage different companies to explore and drill oil and gas in the Gambian waters.

The exploration and drilling of oil and gas is as important to The Gambia and its economic development as oxygen is to life.

And how our government goes about seeking partners to develop the oil and gas industry in The Gambia will define our national economic development and the prosperity of the people for many many years to come.

I’d like to think that with a bit more capable political leadership and knowing how to use the whiff of even the hint of the potential for oil and gas exploration and drilling in a country could open up access to economic investment and development if the government sought the right partners to develop the oil and gas industry in The Gambia.

The Gambia like Senegal is pursuing the dodgy business dealings of signing contracts with dodgy characters.

Who in turn will go on to sell off their stakes in the company to another company.

Implying that the government is not looking out to sign the best economic deal for the country from its oil and gas industry.

That’s what the Macky Sall Government did to the Senegalese people.

I’d like to think that if the Barrow government reach out to China and offer the Chinese government the concession to explore and drill for oil and gas in the Gambian waters, we would have been talking about something different by now.

Just the offer of the concessions to explore and drill for oil and gas in the Gambian waters would have opened up access to economic investment and development for The Gambia from the Chinese government.

Why is The Gambia Government obsessed with signing bogus deals with companies that are giving us mixed messages about the exploration and the drilling of oil and gas in our waters on very bad terms and conditions?
Why not China?

Yusupha Bojang

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