It is indeed a welcome development that the GPA is putting the ferries aside for thorough maintenance. We know this might be inconvenient particularly taking into account the volume of trade on the Banjul-Barra ferry crossing, but the safety of people should be the prime concern of all and sundry. After all, waterways are critically important in the transportation of people and goods in many places around the world. At this time that the country is gearing to meet the target date for the national development blueprint, the Vision 2020, free and safe movement of people and goods is very fundamental. In fact, considering the immense contribution of the ferry services to the economy, the quality, shape and condition of the ferries is fundamental to national development.
Currently, Banjul-Barra ferry crossing is a nightmare. The smooth and easy crossing of people, goods and services is extra-tedious due to congestion coupled with the snail speed of the ferries. Carrying out maintenance work on the ferries can therefore greatly reduce that problem.
We also wish to call on the management of Ferry Services to endeavour to put in place standards of best practice. This will be in line with the country's development aspirations and as well build the confidence of people on the institution. Our collective ambition for national development cannot be achieved without convenience in the free movement of people, goods and services. We should always be proactive in ensuring the sustainability of the ferries.