By Lamin Njie
Assistant Information Officer
Ministry of Transports, Works
Ebrima Sillah, the newly appointed Minister of Transport, Works and Infrastructure in less than 24 hours since he was sworn in, on Wednesday, 11 May, 2022, moved into action by visiting the ongoing 84.5 km roads Nuimi – Hakalang loop and secondary roads project, the toll plazas in Jarra –Jenoi and Bereto, along the Senegambia bridge respectively.
Minister Sillah was accompanied by Seedy Keita, Minister of Finance and Economic Affairs, senior officials from the Ministries of Transport and Finance, National Roads Authority and Accountant General’s Department, Contractor and Consultant together with other relevant stakeholders.
Speaking along the sideways of the visit, Minister Sillah said one of the main reasons for the visit was to be on the ground for himself to have first-hand information on the ongoing projects in North Bank Region under his Ministry and also to be updated on the achievements and challenges, if any and provide immediate solutions to them as the raining reason approaches.
According to the Minister, the tour was also meant to know the level of preparation for the full operationalization of the toll plazas in Bereto and Jenoi, at the toll plaza it was concluded that both stations will be open to traffic by 1st June, 2022.
He therefore used the visit as an opportunity to buttress the need for the contractor and consultant to work very hard to ensure that the project is completed within the stipulated timeframe.
“We need to work hand in hand and make sure the works are done accordingly. Government will give you the money and the necessary support, but at the end of the day, you should also do your part very well,” he told the contractor and consultant.
Seedy Keita, Minister of Finance and Economic Affairs, also emphasized the need for timely completion of the project and of better quality.
He added that the project is locally funded by Government of The Gambia, and therefore, every butut matters to the people of the Gambia.
“These projects are for generations to come. So we need to do our best to ensure that things are in the right perspectives,” he said. The Minister assured the players of his office support and collaboration at all times.
Momodou Senghore, Managing Director of The National Roads Authority, told the delegation that his office would always ensure that quality is never compromised.
“Our staff are here on the ground to ensure that work is done as the way it should be done,” he said. He called on the contactor and consultant to redouble their efforts in order to finish the work on time.
Felix Ocloo, representative of the Resident Engineer, for the Nuimi – Hakalang roads project gave a presentation of the entire work, by highlighting some progress registered, challenges.
The consultant told the Minister and team that they would continue to work tirelessly to ensure that high quality is maintained throughout the project scope.
He said went completed, the road will be equipped with bus stops, guardrails, highway signs, road markings and pavement markers.
He further stated there will be speed bumps in villages and around social amenities for traffic control such as schools, hospitals and reflective marker posts at sharp curves.