The government of the Republic of China (Taiwan) through its Banjul embassy Monday presented at State House two separate cheques amounting to US$1, 158, 875.5, earmarked for two projects - phase three of the Old Police Line Quarters rehabilitation project, and the sponsorship package of six Gambians to study Aeronautical Engineering and maintenance skills at Spartan College of Aeronautics, USA.
The cheques were presented to the secretary general, head of the Civil Service and minister of Presidential Affairs, Momodou Sabally, by the Taiwanese ambassador, His Excellency Samuel Chen.
The sum of US$ 692,983.5 is donated as part payment of the grant set aside for the rehabilitation of Old Police Line Barracks (phase 3). It is meant to assist the Gambia government in renovating the police dormitories to improve the welfare and morale of police officers thereby enhancing their quality service delivery so as to better serve its national interest.
Meanwhile, the sum of US$465, 892 is donated to assist the Gambia government provide stipend and tuition fees for five Gambian officers and a civilian to study aeronautical engineering and maintenance skills, from 17-21 months, at Spartan College of Aeronautics, USA. It will assist The Gambia to develop regional aviation and to promote Gambian economic prosperity. In his remarks, Ambassador Samuel Chen said he was honored to make the presentation on behalf of his government. "The police have a great responsibility to ensure peace and stability of the country. They work on the frontline to protect properties and welfare of Gambian people, sometimes facing dangers and violence," he stated. He expressed his delight with The Gambia's dedication to providing a safer and more secure environment for her people. "I hope that the rehabilitation and construction of the Police line will help the Police to effectively execute their duties and contribute in general to the welfare of Gambians," he added.
Commenting on capacity building, Chen underscored that the know-how and skills acquisition of aeronautical engineering is very important in the management of aviation security, as well as the maintenance of the aviation safety of aircrafts. He expressed his delight with The Gambia's dedication to develop a safer and more secure environment for regional aviation. "I hope that this donation will help to empower Gambia Air Force team to develop The Gambia and regional aviation security," he remarked. He also expressed hope that the bilateral relations between The Gambia and Taiwan, ROC will continue to grow from strength to strength.
Receiving the cheques, Secretary General Sabally expressed his profound gratitude to the government and people of ROC (Taiwan) for their unrelenting support to The Gambia's development in every sector be it education, health, agriculture or security. "We acknowledge their role as our able development partner and thank them immensely," he underscored, adding that the maintenance of safety, security and stability in The Gambia is President Jammeh's priority in providing a conducive environment for economic growth.
Sabally again expressed his profound gratitude to the government and people of Taiwan, for their willingness to support The Gambia in the development of its aviation. "We recognise their role in partnering with The Gambia through our development phase. The development of human resource brings about general and nationwide development. The project is President Jammeh's idea in providing a conducive environment for The Gambia's aviation development," he remarked, while assuring Taiwan through the ambassador, of The Gambia's unwavering support and that the bilateral relations between the two nations will continue to flourish. The minister of Interior, Ousman Sonko, who also witnessed the presentation, praised the government of Taiwan for supporting The Gambia Police Force to maintain national peace and stability.