The President has tasked the company contracted to build the Laminkoto-Passimas road to build one of the best road for the beneficiary communities. He urged the National Roads Authority (NRA) to work closely with the contractor.
“Work as a family, be it the consultant, the NRA and the contractor, we are just one family; what we want is the best road and because this promise has been long overdue, , I want you to give them the best road in The Gambia, because to be quite honest people in these beneficiary communities have suffered so much and are also eager to have a good road network” said The Gambian leader.
He was speaking at State House on Wednesday while presiding over the signing of a contract agreement between Arezki Company and government for the commencement of the construction of the said road.
The road, when completed, will facilitate new businesses, ease travel difficulties and provide easy access to schools, medical facilities and equally give farmers and traders access to major lumos and markets in the region.
“I thank the Almighty Allah for this day that would lead to the fulfillment of a very long promise. If it were in my powers this road would have been history by now. It would have been among the roads constructed during the first few days of the revolution. But as I always say when I give a promise, I make it very clear that by the grace of the Almighty Allah. It is today and this year that the Almighty Allah has granted this to happen,” he said.
“Let me make it very clear that I don’t do things for an election because I am elected by Allah and His election is better than the election of the entire world or human race. So I want you [the beneficiary communities to be careful when people come to you to say I am rushing to build the road because of the election, I don’t do things for election.”
On the contractor, he said: “I am very confident that the contractor will execute to the best of his ability, I have never been comfortable with any contractor until Arezki came to this country. We are proud of them because they give us quality work and I have no doubt that they will give us the same for this project too.”
The road, he added is long overdue. “I feel bad each time I travel to this area, the rainy season is even worst, I always feel bad, it affects me each time I cross over to those sides, I become depressed especially when I see how people struggle to travel but I always pray to the Almighty Allah to make sure that this dream come through. So I am very grateful to the Almighty Allah that this is going to happen In Sha Allah and may all those who will work there, work in peace and harmony without any injuries or accident.”
The minister of Finance, Abdou Kolley, described the signing as a great day. “We are all proud and happy to be associated with this major development. We want to call on the contractor to honour his commitments and ensure that the work is completed within the timeframe and budget. We also take this opportunity to thank our funding partners who have stood with us all this while and supported the development initiatives of His Excellency the President,” he said.
“Its successful implementation will really upon up the country and ensures that access to markets, health and educational facilities and other social amenities are made easier for the people of the beneficiary communities.”
The minister of Transport, Balla Garba Jahumpa thanked the contractor for offering to buy a new ambulance for the sites. “They have also indicated that they will dig boreholes at the various sites and give them to the communities concerned at the end of the project and employ more youths in the operating communities throughout the project duration. As vanguards of the July 22nd Revolution, this is a great day for us. It is one of the most important projects that has happened under the advent of the July 22nd Revolution,” he said.
He added that when this road was talked about, some of them were not even born and those of them that were born must have been very young at the time. He said the Holy book of scripture the glorious Qur’an teaches us in Surah Tawbah, chapter 9 verse 51 that nothing can happen to us except as ordained from Allah to us, therefore, it is today that Allah has destined that they will sign the contract for the construction of the road.
“What we can do as a nation [and as] a people, my fellow Gambians is to pray for long life and good health of His Excellency to continue to initiate and implement projects that will address the needs and aspirations of Gambian people. Therefore, Your Excellency Sir, our Holy book of scripture the glorious Qur’an teaches us in Surah Mariam chapter 19 verse 6 that for all those who believe in the oneness of Allah, which you do Your Excellency Sir, and do righteous good deeds Allah will create deep love for them. May Allah create deep love for you and the First Family for your righteous deeds for the Gambian people,” he prayed.
The CEO of Arezki Company, Tarek Arezki said the road when completed will shorten the travel time from Laminkoto to Passimas, and facilitate the traveling difficulties within the surrounding villages. “We promise to finish the project on time in respect of all the specification and I hope we will,” he said.
Momodou Senghore, permanent secretary at the Ministry of Transport, Works and Infrastructure, who is also overseeing NRA and Hon. Netty Baldeh both spoke at the occasion.
by Musa Ndow