The government of the Republic of China (Taiwan) through its Banjul Embassy Thursday presented a cheque in the sum of US$747,692 to the government of The Gambia for the procurement of three new ferry engines, namely; Barra, Kanilai and Farafenni.
Held at the Office of the Secretary General and Head of the Civil Service, who is also the minister for Presidential Affairs, at State House in Banjul, the presentation was a part payment of US$1.5M designed for the procurement of 12 new engines for The Gambia Ferry Services.
Presenting the cheque on behalf of the Taiwanese government, Samuel Chen, the Taiwanese ambassador to The Gambia, said the new ferry engines are German-made and would be available soon. He dilated on the economic significance of ferry transportation in any country, noting that the current ferry engines are very old. He also recalled a personal experience when he travelled with them to other parts of the country.
"It is good to change the engines for security reasons and that is why the government of Taiwan deemed it necessary to support the government of The Gambia," he said, while using the opportunity to wish every Gambian a happy Christmas and New Year in advance.
Dr Njogu Bah, the secretary general and head of the Civil Service, who is also the minister for Presidential Affairs, who received the cheque for onward delivery to the GPA, described The Gambia and Taiwan as developing partners with common values. "These two countries stand by each other and would continue to do so," he said, adding that the intimacy between Banjul and Taipei shows a true cordial relationship.
He also spoke about the significance of ferry transportation, saying it is the wish of the president to see reliable and safe ferries. "The problems of these ferries are the engines and once we get the new ones, reliable and safe transportation will be restored," he further remarked.
The Presidential Affairs minister used the opportunity to apologise to Gambians for the difficulties they have been encountering while travelling via the ferry services. "We all know the conditions of the ferries and we are also aware of how concerned the president is for the welfare of the citizens of this country," he stressed, assuring that the problems will be solved soon.