As part of events marking the 22nd anniversary of the July 22nd Revolution, the Secretary General and Head of the Civil Service, Dodou Bammy Jagne, on Saturday inaugurated The Gambia Ports Authority’s new Terminal J-22.
The 16, 000 square meters Terminal was constructed at the tune of US$4.8M and according to officials, it has the capacity to accommodate up to 1500 containers.
In his inaugural address on behalf of the Gambian leader, Jagne, also the Minister for Presidential Affairs, said government is determined to transform the port into a centre of excellence.
“My government attaches special interest to the Port of Banjul for having direct impact on the socio-economic wellbeing of the citizens of this country. Against the background of an increasingly globalised world economy wherein seaports serve as vital links in the supply chain, in the long run my government shall accord assistance to the Ports to engage genuine partners, funding agencies and friendly governments for the transformation of the Ports into a modern deep seaport to enhance its potential to serve as the leading gateway and distribution centre for the vast West African market and beyond,” he said.
This, he said, will boost sub-regional trade and enhance the country’s socio-economic development. He said the port is one of the country’s major gateways operating in a limited infrastructure compared to the ever increasing volume of cargo it handles. He expressed hope that the new facility will increase the Ports’ handling capacity.
The Deputy Minister of Works and Infrastructure, Ebrima Njie said the new terminal is part of Ports’ basic yard extension project phase I, aimed at improving the Ports’ capacity and competitiveness to improve national and sub-regional trade.
The Managing Director of GPA, Lamin Sanyang, said the new container yard would increase the storage capacity of the Ports. This, he said, would also alleviate the current congestion experienced by the Ports of Banjul due to an increasing volume of container traffic. He said the expansion project obtained 38 compounds from Half-die at a cost of US$3M and those affected by this, according to him were duly compensated.
The Chairman of the Board of Directors of GPA, Mustapha Colley, expressed the Board’s resolve to ensure that the port remains vibrant and competitive.
“There are more projects to be funded and implemented under the Banjul Ports project in order to ensure that the port meets its challenges of the future efficiency as well as competition from the sister ports in the sub-region,” he said.
Wu Taiquiang, who spoke on behalf of the Chinese contractors and the contracting company Guangxi Construction Engineering for his part said: “I would like to express our sincere appreciation to His Excellency the President of The Gambia for supporting the project. I would also like to take this opportunity to thank the GPA, the government and all those who helped to see the successful implementation of the project.”
by Musa Ndow