Banjul-North NAM visits Denton bridge offices, defunct NFSPMC installations

Friday, June 21, 2019

As part of engagements in fulfilment of his representative responsibilities, Banjul North National Assembly Member (NAM), Ousman Sillah, recently visited the Denton Bridge offices and installations of the National Food Security Processing and Marketing Corporation (NFSPMC), formerly The Gambia Groundnut Corporation (GGC).

Accompanied by a team, Mr. Sillah was received by NFSPMC Managing Director Anthony G. Carvalho where he explained that the visit was a continuation of his official familiarisation tour of institutions and facilities operating within the constituency he is representing, which he had started since after his election in April 2017.

“This mission is a continuation of familiarisation visits I have been undertaking to public and private institutions and facilities operating in the constituency such as schools, hospitals, offices, businesses/factories, and the central prisons. The purpose of the visits is to familiarise myself with the operations, issues and challenges, and to see how I could be of assistance in articulating or advocating for their legitimate issues both at the level of the National Assembly and outside,” Mr. Sillah said.

He said the visit was also an opportunity for him to enquire about how his constituency and constituents of Banjul North could benefit from the presence or operations of these institutions or facilities in terms of development and employment creation. “As an elected official of the constituency in which this facility is situated, this visit is in fulfilment of my representative responsibilities. We have select committees on Agriculture, Public Enterprises and Project Monitoring at the level of the National Assembly and they are mandated to perform oversight on your institution,” he said.

National Food Security Processing and Marketing Corporation managing director, Mr. Carvalho said NFSPMC is an agro-processing entity serving the entire nation with the core activity to purchase and market of groundnuts. He said cashew is also part of their activities, saying the Corporation has 9 depots around the country. “67% of Gambian population are peasant farmers who rely on subsistence farming,” he said.

He said the institution had been privatised on two occasions but that did not work, considering the ramifications surrounding the groundnuts. “Government owns 99% of the shares while Social Security and Housing Finance Corporation gets the remaining 1%,” he said.

The team also met and discussed with Madi Joof, Shelling Plant Engineer, who disclosed that they employed 90 women who work 24 hours shift, with 30 women per shift for every 8 hours. He explained how the decortication, selection and bagging are done and the need for the machines to be replaced with new ones.

Mr. Buba Janneh, the Plant Engineer and head of the Oil Mill, also explained their operations, output and the challenges they face.