Monday, June 5

President Barrow says development is not accidental, But a timely strategic

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President Adama Barrow has emphasized that the commissioning of seventy (70) buses for public transport upgrade, development is not accidental, but a timely strategic initiative designed to accompany the infrastructural upgrading of the national road network through the improvement of the existing roads and construction of new ones, particularly in areas where the need is greatest.

“With this in view, the deployment of the new buses will complement the current road transport operations of the country,” the Gambian leader said on Wednesday at the commissioning of seventy (70) buses for public transport upgrade.

He said that he is proud to observe that this is one of the largest fleets of buses ever acquired in the history of public transport on Gambian soil, and besides easing movement, this scheme has the potential to employ more than one hundred (100) Gambians.

He stated that the quality and standard specifications of these latest buses manifest my government’s resolve to permanently address the public transport challenges confronting us, which include the growing traffic congestion experienced in the Greater Banjul Area, adding that  “with this in mind, any scheme geared towards improving our public transport services could not come at a better time.”

It is certain that for any country to improve its transport services in the 21st Century, an effective and efficient public transport system and related facilities must be in place. Our realization of this necessity is reflected in the emphasis put in The Gambia’s National Development Plan (NDP) on the critical role of public transport services for the efficient functioning of the national economy.

Furthermore, meeting the mobility needs of our people, amid the rising national population growth rate, has been identified as a key challenge in the National Transport Policy 2018-2026.

Mindful of this, the Government will persistently devote due attention and resources to meeting the increasing demand for transport through efficiency improvements that include effective public transport services and traffic management measures,” they pointed out.

President Barrow noted that efficiency within the transport sector cannot be achieved in the absence of the active participation of the private sector, Government deems it necessary to invite and create incentives for private sector players to partner with us to develop our road infrastructure and network to international standards.

 He added that this will encourage them to participate in the transport sector and, in the process, contribute to establishing an enabling environment that promotes competition and progress within the industry.

 He vowed that his government will continue to support GTSC in its drive to operate buses on all major and connecting roads, but we equally encourage our private partners to invest more in infrastructure to support the company. 

The Gambian disclosed that the laws will be reviewed to allow the government allows Government to play the triple roles of facilitator, regulator, and enforcer while enabling the private sector to take on operational responsibilities.