The director general of the Gambia Agency for the Management of Public Works (Gamworks) has disclosed that the Agency received inflows of funds totaling to D211M in 2011.
Ebrima Cham made the disclosure while delivering his report at 8th Gamworks Annual General Meeting (AGM), held at the Agency's headquarters in Kanifing Institutional Layout. He said out of this amount, payment to contractors totaled to D158M; D4M was paid to consultants while D3M was paid to other service providers.
He described the year 2011 as another very good year for the Agency with a number of projects and contracts delivered to the satisfaction of their clients and beneficiaries. He also highlighted the numerous projects the Agency undertook for the period under review.
According to Cham, the government of The Gambia received financing in the amount of a loan of US$15.86M and a technical assistance grant of US$400, 000 from the Islamic Development Bank (IDB) towards the cost of the Community-Based Infrastructure and Livelihood Improvement Project (CILIP). He said additional financing is provided by way of counterpart contribution by the government of The Gambia at the tune of US$880, 000 and local councils and sub-project beneficiaries at the tune of US$880, 000, to give a total project cost of US$18,02M.
Cham further disclosed that the loan and technical assistance grant agreement were signed between the IDB and the government of The Gambia on 25th October 2010. He recalled that the CILIP was declared effective on the 13th February 2011, following legal opinion by the solicitor general, ratification by the National Assembly and signing of the instrument of ratification by the president of the Republic of The Gambia, His Excellency Sheikh Professor Alhaji Dr. Yahya AJJ Jammeh.
The Gamworks DG explained that the aim of the CILIP is to support government's strategy to alleviate poverty in the rural and peri-urban areas. The project, he added, will empower beneficiary communities and improve their livelihood and welfare through financing demand-driven community infrastructure and livelihood activities. He revealed that the executing agency for the project is the Ministry of Local Government and Lands while Gamworks ischarged with the implementation and day-to-day administration of the project.
On the Technical Assistance and Capacity Building for Project Management Project (TACB), Cham said in September 2011, the government of The Gambia signed a grant agreement with the IDB for the financing of the TACB project. He said IDB will contribute US$290, 000 as grant while the government of The Gambia will put in counterpart contribution of US$17, 000 to give a total project cost of US$307, 000.
Cham informed the gathering that the objective of the project is to build the capacity of ministries and project management units, so as to ensure the timely delivery of IDB funded projects in The Gambia.
Cham intimated that Gamworks has also completed the implementation of the agreement with Gamjobs as 60 youths have been trained and equipped; 40 were trained in the production and laying of concrete pavement blocks while 20 were trained in the collection and disposal of domestic waste. He added that motorcycles with trailers were bought for this group of youths.
According to him, the agreement was signed on September 1st, 2012 between Gamworks and the United Nations Development Programme and the Ministry of Trade, Regional Integration and Employment, to execute the Labour Intensive Technologies and Waste Management components of Gamjobs.
The Gamworks DG further stated that on the 16th September 2009, his Agency signed a DMC with the National Training Authority for the construction of a technical and vocational skills training Centre in Ndemban village, West Coast Region, as part of the Gambia government/Taiwanese government funded Technical and Vocational Education (TVET) project. He said the project, amounting to US$2.83M, will have classroom blocks, workshops, a multi-purpose hall and offices for staff, while all facilities will be fully furnished and equipped as part of the DMC.
Cham decried the delay in getting the necessary approvals to the design submission from the appropriate authorities. However, he added that approval was finally given for the construction of the Admin. Block and perimeter fence, and that construction of these components are nearing completion.
Cham noted that the Gambia Revenue Authority (GRA) also engaged the services of Gamworks for the rehabilitation of seven warehouses adjacent to the Authority's headquarters in Banjul and a DMC was signed between the two institutions on the 28th September 2009. He said works have been completed and GRA has already rented out the warehouses which will provide revenue to the Authority.
He said following a request from the Office of the Ombudsman, Gamworks prepared and submitted an assessment report with cost estimates for the rehabilitation of the Office in Cape Point. He said there were considerable delays in receiving the necessary funds to enable the works to be carried out, but noted that monies have finally been received and all works have been completed.
The Gamworks boss said that on the 22nd March 2010, his Agency signed a DMC with the Ministry of Basic and Secondary Education for the construction of 129 new classrooms, toilet facilities and the supply of furniture to classroom blocks in various locations in regions One and Two, under the Education for All Fast Track Initiative Catalytic Fund Project. He confirmed that all the buildings have been completed and handed over to the Ministry, and that the only remaining component is the furniture, which is currently under fabrication.
Cham further stated that on the 14th February 2011, Gamworks also signed a DMC with the Gambia Telecommunications Company (Gamtel), for the construction of the Africa Coast to Europe (ACE) Submarine Cable Station and associated facilities. He explained that ACE Submarine Communications Cable Project links the West Coast of Africa to France and South Africa with a 17, 000km long fibre optic cable. He said the cable will provide high speed broadband internet services.
He said other projects his Agency signed with other institutions include: the D3M project for the Enhancement of the Resource Centre at MDI; the construction of the first floor on a building at the RVTH worth D9.4M; the Legal Aid Clinic for Faculty of Law at the University of The Gambia worth D11.5M; The Rural Finance Project- construction of V-Apex Headquarters amounting to D6.4M; National Malaria Control Programme- Residual Spraying Stores under the Global Fund amounting to D1.3M and the BaNafaa Gambia-Senegal Sustainable Fisheries Programme amounting to US$380, 000.
Cham averred that the inflow of projects and contracts into Gamworks is due to the confidence in Gamworks, adding that the Agency remains committed to working with the government of The Gambia and development partners for the infrastructural development of the nation.
Delivering a report on behalf of AlmamiTaal, chairman of Gamworks Board of Directors, Mustapha N Njie, the CEO of Kanifing Municipal Council and secretary general of GALGA who is also a Board member of Gamworks, declared that 2011 was another successful year in terms of board governance and performance of its oversight functions, and management's achievements in delivering successfully completed projects and delegated contracts. He said government and various sectors continue to manifest increased confidence in Gamworks, with more and more delegated management contracts being signed.
He continued: "The collaboration with our partners such as the Ministry of Basic and Secondary Education, the Ministry of Health and Social Welfare, the University of The Gambia (UTG), the National Training Authority, and the Gambia Telecommunications Company (Gamtel) continues to grow from strength to strength. With regards to our development partners, we have strengthened our partnership with the Islamic Development Bank (IDB) and we are collaborating with the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) through the University of Rhode Island."
Taal expressed pride and satisfaction that the Agency from its inception to date has implemented projects and contracts to the tune of over US$100,0000M to the satisfaction of clients and beneficiaries.
He finally thanked the Gambian leader, His Excellency Sheikh Professor Alhaji Dr. Yahya Jammeh and his government for their continued support and collaboration with the Agency. He also thanked all the funding agencies and clients that have collaborated with Gamworks over the years.