By Lamin Njie
AIO, Ministry of Transport, Works & Infrastructure
Mod K. Ceesay, Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Transport, Works and Infrastructure
Under the auspices of The Ministry of Transport, Works and Infrastructure (MoTWI), a stakeholders steering committee meeting on the construction of the rural roads, which covers Nuimi – Hakalang, Kiang roads, Sabach Sukoto to Bambali, Ngeyen Sanjally to Sarakunda, Kaur to Jimbala, Kaur to Kerr Chaindu, Kerr to Batti, Chamen to Nyanga Bantang, pavement strengthening of the Sene- Gambia Corridor amongst other roads, was on Wednesday, 6th April, 2022, held at the Sir Dawda Kairaba Jawara International Conference Center in Bijilo.
The daylong frank meeting came on the backdrop of a project site visits recently by senior officials of The Ministry of Transport, Works and Infrastructure, National Roads Authority, contractors, consultants and other relevant stakeholders respectively, to hear from them- consultants and contractors, challenges and constraints they are face with, way forward and their success achievements.
These project works consist of the construction of pavement, bituminous surfacing, construction of drainage structures, parking lanes and environmental, health safety management, with traffic sign boards and guardrail at high embankments.
When completed on time, the entire road project would potentially serve as a link between towns and villages in the Northern part of the Gambia, by extension Senegal and beyond and boost trade and services as well.
Speaking at the day-long meeting, Mod K. Ceesay, Permanent Secretary, Ministry Transport, Works and Infrastructure, told the various contractors to tighten up their belts to make sure deadlines are met as agreed in the contractual agreements.
He also told them to deliver quality roads at the end of the various projects as expectations from the public is high, especially communities living around the project sites.
According to him, these projects are entirely funded by the government of The Gambia, and therefore, timely and quality delivery of work would not be compromised by the Ministry.
PS Ceesay further assured the contractors and consultants of his Ministry’s continuous support and collaboration to ensure timely completion of the different projects as expected.
“Such meetings are important for us to know the status of the various projects and also avail us the opportunity to brainstorm over issues that might be a hindrance to the projects as well as finding immediate solutions to them,” he said.
Momodou Senghore, Managing Director of the National Roads Authority emphasized the need for frequent steering committee meetings at all times in a bid for the stakeholders to come together and listen to each other to know issues affecting the progress of work.
Mr. Senghore further called on the contractors to re-double up their efforts so that the projects could finish on time without delays. He also assured them of his office’s support at all times.
At the end of the day, presentations followed by questions and answer sessions were held on the different projects and on how far they are progressing; the constraints and bottlenecks among other burning issues of the day
However, the contractors and consultants both promised to redouble their efforts to ensure that the projects are completed on time and are of quality standard.
It is important to note that the steering committee has the responsibility of monitoring the progress of work and ensuring that deadlines and the cost of the projects as agreed in the contract documents, are achieved.
Furthermore, the PSC will report to the Minister of –MoTWI, from time to time, on the progress of work, challenges faced, and the way forward during the implementation of the projects.
The PSC was composed of officials from MoTWI, National Roads Authority, NAWEC, GAMTEL, Ministries of Lands, Finance, Office of The President, Governor of North Bank, Lower River Region, Central River Region, Contractors and Consultants.