By: Kebba AF Touray
Transport, Works and Infrastructure Minister Bai Lamin Jobe, has told Deputies at the National Assembly that the National Roads Authority (NRA) in consultation with his Ministry, have completed the identification of the 400 kilometres of roads earmarked for construction.
He said currently the construction process is at a consultative stage for the consultant to carry out feasibility studies and designs of the roads, in anticipation of the acquisition of funds to implement the required works.
“Funds are sourced through various initiatives prominent of which are grants and concessionary loans from the Indian Government, and NDP pledges and local sources such as increasing the fuel levee,” he told Deputies.
Minister Jobe in response to a question raised by the Member for Upper Fulladu West Sanna Jawara, said the construction will commence as soon as funds are available and that the best time is to start most of them in 2020.
The Member for Serrekunda Halifa Sallah in his question to Minister Jobe asked whether he will consider a Senegambia Bridge bond to provide the necessary funding to construct the roads, whilst the funds from the bridge continues to pay the concessionary loans and processes the internal foundation for infrastructural development.
Minister Jobe in his response said the following: “In fact what Honourable Sallah has just mentioned is one of the strategies we have been looking at. Currently, the levy for every litre of fuel is D1. But we are thinking of increasing it to D3 without this reflecting on the pump price. One of the strategies of doing this is to use the proceeds from the bridge”.
The Member for Wuli East Suwaibou Touray asked if the Minister can tell the Assembly whether this 400 kilometres road will be equitably distributed within the regions, because of its importance. In his response to the Member, Minister Jobe said: “I can assure you that the 400 kilometres road will be equitably distributed within the regions”.
Deputy Speaker Momodou L.K. Sanneh asked the Minister when the construction for the long awaiting Kiang-Sankandi-Karantaba road stretch will commence.
In response to the Deputy Speaker’s question, Works Minister Jobe responded that the road stretch asked by the Deputy Speaker is one of the top priorities of his Ministry and Government and expresses the hope that works on this particular stretch of road will commence soon.
Nominated Member Ndey Yasin Secka, asked the Minister to consider foot paths during road construction to make roads passable and accessible for the persons with disabilities.
In his response, Minister Jobe assured the Member that they have given the issue of foot paths a big consideration during road constructions; that it is now part of the country’s transport policy to provide road accessibility for physically challenged people who will use these foot paths.