By Ndey Sowe
The Islamic Development Bank (IsDB)-Dakar Hub has recently paid a courtesy call on the Minister of Higher Education, Research, Science, and Technology (MoHERST) to inspect the level of work at the University of The Gambia (UTG) Faraba Banta Campus project ahead of its inauguration by September 2023
The tour was also attended by project stakeholders such as the Contractor, Shapoorji Pallonji, the Consultant, PACE and the Project Coordinating Unit (PCU) of the education sector.
The IsDB is one of five financiers of the UTG Faraba Banta Project, which is meant to provide a state-of-the-art university campus, aimed at increasing access and improving the quality of higher education in The Gambia.
The Minister, Professor Pierre Gomez, in welcoming the IsDB team, thanked them for taking the time to come and see the level of implementation of the UTG project and also to discuss areas of concern including plans to provide further support to the Ministry’s priority programmes.
Gomez reiterated the Government’s position that Lot. 1 of the University projects must be delivered and inaugurated in September this year.
Gomez stated that the non-completion of Lot. 1 is non-negotiable. He therefore called on all parties to work closely to deliver Lot 1 successfully so that the IsDB can be engaged for the construction of a healthy city.
The campus would include five components namely Medicine, Nursing, Public Health, Pharmacy and Dentistry.
Gomez ends with a strong word to the Contractor that they need to expedite their work to ensure that Lot 1 is finished on schedule. He called on the Consultant to closely monitor the work of the Contractor to see to it that there is enough labour on the ground and that work progresses as desired.
Furthermore, the Project Manager (PM) of PCU, Shapoorji Pallongi gave a brief account of the IsDB’s visit to the project site in Faraba Banta. He reported that the mission was impressed with the progress on the ground and that they are optimistic that the University can move in by September 2023.
The Contractor, for his part, thanked both the Minister and IsDB for their time and promised to do their best to complete work on time. The Contractor buttressed their commitment to finishing Lot 1 on time and stated that henceforth, they will increase the manpower on the ground in order to expedite the work.