The notion that infrastructure matters to growth is well recognised and widely understood by the Jammeh administration. There is, indeed, a plethora of anecdotal and more empirical evidence that better quantity and quality of infrastructure can directly raise the productivity of human and physical capital and hence growth.
It is against this backdrop that the government conceived the idea of the Petroleum House more than a decade ago and eleven years after the original plan, the President yesterday inaugurated the ultra-modern nine-storey building costing the government of The Gambia more than GMD232 million.
The structure, as the Consultant said, is totally Gambian designed in the fields of architecture, structural, mechanical and electrical engineering, demonstrating the maturity of Gambian Technicians in the design and supervision of construction projects.
Since the birth of a new Gambia 22 years ago, there has been massive investment on the part of the government in infrastructural development. There has been improvement in road networks, good communication and adequate power supply and increases in the numbers of schools and hospitals and also improvement in the quality of their service delivery.
While government is doing its part, it is also important that Gambians take a moment of reflection and ask themselves questions about how we can harness the potential of our modern infrastructure for personal as well as national development. What is our role as individuals especially public servants in terms of maintenance and responsible use of public infrastructure.
It would help us to ask ourselves “How would the country be if the current leadership did not invest in social amenities?”
Infrastructure provides the means by which the close spatial proximity of economic activities can lead to increased productivity.
It is, therefore, a moral obligation for every individual, regardless of political affiliation, to contribute efficiently and meaningfully to the growth and progress of the nation. The leadership has created an enabling environment pregnant with opportunities. It is our duty to utilise those opportunities.