The recent inauguration of the new Gambia Ports Authority terminal dubbed Terminal J-22 is one of the many development projects commissioned as part of celebrations marking the 22nd anniversary of the July 22nd Revolution. Such events have become a customary affair all these years but this particular one is a massive one, taking cognizance of its mammoth capacity to accommodate a staggering 1500 containers. The new terminal is part of the port’s basic yard extension project phase 1 aimed at improving capacity and competitiveness to improve national and sub-regional trade.
The staggering 4.4 million Dollar investment on the facility alone is reflective of the seriousness of government and the ports management to expand and upgrade service delivery in what remains a crucial gateway to the country. The message could not have been better delivered when Doudou Bammy Jagne, Presidential Affairs Minister, Secretary General and Head of the Civil Service, said the government is determined to transform the port into a centre of excellence.
Needless to say, the Banjul port has a direct impact on the social and economic wellbeing of the citizens and all those resident in The Gambia, hence the special focus attached to the sector by government.
It is a widely established fact that, seaports are the fulcrum or a vital supply chain in this increasingly globalised world, where international trade/commerce remains the heartbeat of nations across the world. That is what makes this newly commissioned J-22 port a development to savour.
In what was music to the ears of all those associated with the Banjul Port particularly the ports management, government has indicated its commitment to lending every support to the facility to engage genuine partners, funding agencies and friendly governments for the transformation of the Port into a modern deep seaport to enhance its potential to serve as the leading gateway and distribution centre for the West African market and distribution centre for the vast West African market and beyond.
The economic prospects of such a policy pronouncement are just as promising as the new project itself. The maritime sector is a critical prime mover for any country and like any other country ours too hinges significantly on the strides taking shape at the sea port. As it stands, indications are that there are more projects to be funded and implemented under the Banjul ports project in order to ensure that the port meets its challenges in the face of competition from the sister ports in the sub-region.