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Tuesday, July 16, 2024

NAMS call for review of OIC hotel contract

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By Tabora Bojang

The National Assembly select committee monitoring the implementation of government projects has called for a review into the public private partnership between the government and Immoland Sarl for the construction of a five- star hotel as part of Gambia’s hosting of the OIC summit.

In April 2021, The Gambia government awarded a $100 million concession to Immoland Sarl, a Senegalese real estate investment outfit to finance, build and operate a five-star hotel in the country.

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This was followed by an official laying of the foundation stone by President Adama Barrow in July 2022.

The hotel, tagged as Radisson Blu Banjul, was expected to have 400 high-end rooms alongside 60 presidential and royal suites, conference and meeting venues, ballroom, fitness and business centres, specialty restaurants among other features.

However, in its assessment report of on-going government projects tabled in the national assembly Tuesday, the committee reported that it has observed serious lapses in the implementation of the civil works and reported that since the foundation stone was laid by the president, there has not been any serious work on the site.

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In addition, the committee said the project is supposed to last for two years, but already, six months have gone with no meaningful progress registered.

“There is no mobilisation, equipment or workers on the site, and no work plan has been submitted for us to be able to track progress of the work,” the committee chaired by Latrikunda NAM Yaya Sanyang, said.

In its recommendations the committee said the public-private partnership agreement for the construction of the hotel should be reviewed and also called for transparency in the awarding of public contracts.

The committee also posited that the award of any contract to a foreign firm must be in a joint venture with an active local construction company.

The NAMs also said government should ensure that underperforming contractors got their contracts terminated to maximise collective interest.

The committee’s report was adopted with amendments.

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