Friday, March 31, 2023

Works Minister Says 2000 Kilometer Rural Roads Need Urgent Repair


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By: Kebba AF Touray

The Gambia’s Works Minister, Bai Lamin Jobe, told lawmakers that about 200 kilometers of rural roads are in dire need of urgent intervention to give them maximum impact in terms of connectivity.

Minister Jobe made this remark on Wednesday 24th March 2021, while responding to a question raised by Billay G Tunkara, Member for Kantora, at the National Assembly during the question and answer session.

Billay G Tunkara recommended for the Minister to use the fuel levy fund for the construction of the feeder road between Nyamanari village and Suduwol village, with a view to making them roadworthy during the rainy season.

Minister Jobe said the recommendation would be an option, but maintained that they choose the best available options under the circumstances saying the fuel levy fund is inadequate.

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Alagie Darboe, Member for Lower Fulladou West, also asked the Minister about plans his-led Ministry has to address the inaccessibility of feeder roads in his constituency.

Works Minister responded that the National Roads Authority (NRA) is progressively working on identifying, surveying and costing of all the rural roads in the regions. He said the funds raised by the government such as the fuel levy, are earmarked for the construction and maintenance of identified roads.

He said the discussions between the NRA and Darboe has already been done regarding the said roads and it was agreed to visit the said roads, which will be followed by surveys and designs in preparation for construction, once the requisite funding is fully mobilized.

Alfusainey Ceesay, Member for Sami Constituency, asked: “Can the Minister inform the Assembly whether the Ministry has plans to construct a bridge at the Bushtown crossing point?”

Sankung Jammeh, Member for Foni Jarrol, asked the Minister the fate of the staff sanctioned by the Gambia Ports Authority in connection with missing D60 million.

Minister Jobe explained that the issue is about billing irregularities in the tune of D10, 497,137.62, due to inappropriate billing of Bollore Logistics, United Logistics and OB Logistics Companies between 1st of January 2018 to 31st July 2019. He added this is stated in the audit report.

“The affected agencies have paid the amount in full and the matter of the concerned staff member has been forwarded to the IGP for fraud investigations. Lately, a follow up enquiry on the progress on the investigation has been sent to the IGP and GPA and we are waiting for the response,” he said.

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