Negmar to operate parallel private ferry service on Banjul/Barra route

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The ferry that will start transporting vehicles soon

Negmar Investment Corporation, a privately owned company has been given the green light to operate a ferry service between Banjul and Barra. The management of the Turkish owned company told Foroyaa in an exclusive interview on Friday that the Ministry of Transport, Works and Infrastructure has endorsed their initiative to start this ferry service parallel to the ongoing ferry service offered by the Gambia Ferry Services Company Limited, a subsidiary of Gambia Ports Authority.

Deputy General Manager, Hali Abdoulie Gai

The management team led by Deputy General Manager, Hali Abdoulie Gai, told Foroyaa that the idea of initiating a ferry service between Banjul and Barra was prompted by the problems encountered in providing an effective and regular service. They believe they can use their ferry which had been used to transport heavy equipment to The Gambia, to transport up to 80 vehicles between Banjul and Barra which they say will ease the tension in the ongoing service. It will not provide any passenger service. This service may resume in a couple of months.

The management of the subsidiary of Negmar in Turkey says it is planning to bring in two more ferries carrying up to 800 passengers and 70 vehicles. The landing sites will be near former Radio Syd in Banjul and Fort Bullen in Barra. According to them all the necessary studies, including the environmental impact assessment (with NEA approval) have been done and this service may kick off in a couple of years. It is the hope of management that demand for service will increase once it is efficient and regular.

The state owned ferry Service Company has two operating ferries, namely, Kunta Kinteh, which is currently operating and Kanilai which is under repairs. An official press release had indicated that two new ferries are expected within six months.