The Gambia government has signed a loan agreement with the Kuwaiti Fund to the tune of US$30M for the construction of Laminkoto-Passimas road as well as a US$35M pledge by the Islamic Development Bank (IDB), the president of the Republic has disclosed.
Speaking on Monday at the Legislative House while opening the National Assembly for this year, His Excellency Sheikh Professor Alhaji Dr. Yahya Jammeh also disclosed that the Saudi Fund has approved US$20M, whilst the OPEC Fund and the Arab Bank for Economic Development in Africa (BADEA) have both made pledges to fund the project. The construction of this stretch in the northern bank of The Gambia is part of the government's drive to enhance the public transport infrastructure for continued socio-economic development.
"As a matter of fact, we have the full funding for the construction of the entire road and by the Grace of the Almighty Allah when all the formalities are finished, the people of Laminkoto-Passimas and other satellite communities will be happy. This is a project that has been a challenge, but not because I cannot do it but because I was taking care of the critical ones," the Gambian leader stated.
He added: "He who laughs last laughs the best and by the time Laminkoto-Passimas road is finished, communities within these area would enjoy the most out of everything. And this project will start as soon as we finish formalities of the funding. You have persevered for 449 years, you cannot suffer anymore."
The Gambian leader also used the opportunity to officially inform deputies that the much talked about anticipated and strategically important Mandinaba-Soma highway has recently been completed except for pavement works and sealing of shoulders.
Brikama-Darsilami road project
Also, part of the ongoing infrastructural development projects is the implementation of the Brikama-Marakisasa-Darsilami-Dimbaya Loop Road Project. This project, including drainage system, President Jammeh told lawmakers, is progressing satisfactorily with 97% being completed. Upon completion of the high-class road, according to the Gambian leader, an important part of the country will be opened to more opportunities and communities will have easier access to health care and access to the major markets for their agricultural produce. "The construction of a foot bridge at Marakissa is also progressing, with 75% of the work completed. This project complements the Brikama-Marakissa-Darsilami-Dimbaya Loop Road in that its design will accommodate traffic that will result from the upsurge of vehicular traffic when the access roads linking the villages are completed," he said. Trans-Gambia Bridge
Further highlighting his government's major strides in the infrastructure sector, Jammeh disclosed that procurement process for the Trans-Gambia Bridge is at an advanced stage, with the completion of the pre-qualification of the companies for the construction of the bridge. Basse-Vellingara road project
He also informed that Basse-Velligara road project, which starts in Basse and runs to the south border, is 79% completed and would hopefully be finished this year. "It involves rehabilitation of the road as well as construction of the Basse Bypass," the president explained. The New National Assembly complex
On the construction of the new National Assembly, the president said it is almost at the completion stage, with the civil works done. Similarly, he indicated that the commissioning of water supply and electricity is virtually completed. "Overall works are as well completed. The new completion date of the project is April, 2014. The contractors and supervisors are hereby strongly advised to make sure this latest extension of deadline is adhered to without fail," he said. Airport development project
"Improvement of facilities at the Banjul International Airport," he noted, "continues to make it competitive and to be one of the leading Airports in Africa. He pointed out that works, which will be undertaken this year as part of the airport development project, are the extension of the checking-in facilities by introducing additional counters with associated carousels, and flight information display systems (FIDS). This development, he said, will significantly improve the simultaneous checking-in capacity for both airlines and passengers and lessen the pressure on terminal facilities during peak periods. "The second phase of the airport improvement project will begin this year and will entail runway expansion, construction of Fire & Rescue station, supply and installation of Instrument Landing System and rehabilitation of new terminal building, all geared towards making the airport a 21stcentury modern airport," he concluded.