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NPP’S FAYE VOWS TO STOP GPA’S EXPANSION INTO PRIVATE PROPERTIES IN BANJUL

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By Omar Bah

Less than a week after his successful nomination as the mayoral candidate for the ruling National People’s Party in Banjul, Ebou Faye has vowed to engage the government to stop the Gambia Ports Authority from further encroachment into private properties in the city.

The GPA is implementing a $114.6 million 345- meter jetty extension project resulting in the relocation of many houses in Half -Die including the Gambia Muslim High School.

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 But speaking on the issue on the popular Star FM Wake UP Gambia Show to be aired today, Faye said his team has developed a Ten -Point Transformative Agenda which will focus on addressing the GPA’s encroachment in the city, the floods, waste management, education, the city’s main market, warehouses and as well as decongesting the city by managing the trucks.

“The GPA cannot take any more land in Banjul. We cannot allow them to kill Half-Die. They can go into the sea and expand whatever they want to expand there because that is easier than taking people’s properties and compensating them and reducing the capital. So, our policy is we don’t want Banjul to be small otherwise the city will have a problem,” Faye said.

He further explained: “We will come up with by-laws to regulate the warehouses and the time of deliveries to ensure that they operate in commercial areas. The garage allocated to the trucks by former mayor Abdoulie Bah will be expanded to ensure that they have more space to park to reduce the traffic in the city. We will also encourage the trucks to use Bond Road instead of driving through the city and we will concentrate on transportation, treatment and collection to address the issue of the waste.”

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Stadium Management

Mr Faye who is also the General Manager of the Independence Stadium currently banned from hosting international football matches, was also asked about the issue of the country’s only national arena. 

He replied: “I have no powers to renovate the stadium. My responsibility is to manage the facility and not to renovate it. It is the government’s responsibility to invest in the facility. I was appointed in 2012 as Stadium Manager and if I had not been doing my job well, I would not have stayed that long. When I was first appointed, I did an assessment of the financial, technical and administrative state of the facility and the first thing I requested from the government was a D12 million package to bail out the stadium. That was 2012. When I was submitting my report to the National Assembly Public Enterprises Committee at that time, I remember the current Speaker Fabakary Tombong Jatta was the chairman of the committee. We argued and we were able to convince his committee to visit the stadium after which a committee was set up headed by former Banjul North NAM Alhagi Silllah which recommended for the facility to be rehabilitated.  Now, how do you expect me with a budget of D9 million, to fund a D160 million- renovation project.”

The NPP mayoral candidate who is also the second vice president of the Gambia Footbal Federation said it was in 2014 that Caf first wrote to GFF demanding that the standard of the stadium be improved.

In conclusion, Ebou Faye called on the people of Banjul to give him the opportunity to serve them as he has a lot of plans to transform the city.

“If you look at the current BCC administration, they generated over D345 million and 60 percent of that should have gone back to the people but unfortunately we have not seen any impact of that. At least D200 million should have been invested into uplifting the city. So, if we are elected, we want to make sure that the people of Banjul will see themselves in the council and we will fulfil all our promises,” he said.

NPP

Commenting on his chances of winning, Faye said contesting under a party ticket will make life easy for him.

“It was difficult when I last contested as an independent candidate but now, with the backing of the NPP and the strong support I am receiving from the party’s executive in Banjul, I am confident that we will win,” he said.

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