Monday, September 17, 2018

Mr. President, during the state opening of the Legislative Year 2018, you made mention of many developments that your government has embarked on to improve the livelihoods of the citizenry.

Mr. President, the revised Basic and Secondary Education Bill that was approved by the Cabinet for enactment is very timely and should be implemented immediately especially at this time that schools are reopening. You said that this act provides for the management and development of educational services in The Gambia, and shall govern the operations of all schools from pre-school to the secondary level, including non-formal schools, which is very important in improving the school system of the country.

Mr. President, the Petroleum issue should be made very clear to the populace as everyone is anxiously waiting to hear news of the first drill. Though you said in your speech that major international oil companies have expressed interest in exploring and commercializing our hydrocarbon potential, The Gambia commissioner Petroleum has confirmed that an Australian petroleum company is being licenced to explore oil offshore Gambia which is expected to start within 40 days.

Gambians should be updated on the progress of the Petroleum contract and the drilling proper whenever necessary. Good laws and agreements should be put in place for companies involving in drilling and exploring the oil, which should also be in the interest of the country and the citizenry. The security aspect of drilling and exploring oil should also be put into consideration.

Mr. President, your government’s intentions to construct and upgrade over 500 kilometers of urban roads, 400 kilometers of rural roads and 104 kilometers of feeder roads over a period of 3 years is very well welcomed.

To promote business and tourism in the country, electricity, water supply, and roads should be improved. Some major roads in Banjul, KMC and other parts of the country should be rehabilitated to facilitate free movement of people and goods within the country.

Finally Mr. President, the recent incident at the Independence Stadium during the football match between Algeria and The Gambia shows an urgent need for the government to build a new stadium of 50,000 capacities as the number of sport lovers in the country is growing to an alarming rate. The new stadium should host other disciplines of sports such as basketball, volley, tennis and an athletic centre.  

The current stadium, which was built since 1983 with a capacity of 25,000 spectators cannot now endure the rising number of sport lovers in the country after 35 years of existence especially football lovers. The stadium even needs proper rehabilitation for safety reasons and if we intend on hosting or co-host international competition like U17, U20 to other sports disciplines.

Good day!