Ministry of Transport, Works and Infrastructure, yesterday organised a daylong
validation workshop on the draft national transport policy.
The validation of the draft policy came following rigorous work and consultation by the local consultant with stakeholders culminating in the draft national transport policy.
The objective of the workshop was to present and discuss the draft national transport policy with the view to finalising the document.
In his keynote address, Bai Lamin Jobe, Minister of Transport, Works and Infrastructure, said the objective was to provide a vision for the development of adequate, effective and efficient transport infrastructure and services, as a requirement and engine for socio-economic development.
He added that transport facilitates economic activity in all sectors of the economy, including agriculture, tourism, trade, industry because it enables movement and access to centres of production, marketing, and social services.
According to him, it was important that the draft policy is informed by the views and opinions of those stakeholders who are directly or indirectly affected by the performance or otherwise of the transport sector.
He explained that their role as the Ministry of Transport, Works and Infrastructure, was to find solutions that allow for free movement of goods and persons throughout the country and beyond.
He added that the policy must be guided by principles such as equity, environmental responsibility, access to the physically challenged, safety and sustainability.
Momodou K. Cham, lead consultant told the gathering that the document was a joint work of local consultants, nothing that they have calculated everything they were asked to do and at the end of the workshop they would come with a valid document.
For her part, Mariama Ndure-Njie, permanent secretary at the Ministry of Transport, said that over the years there have been several developments in this sector as well as a number of challenges that they must respond to if they are serious with their development plans.
She noted that this justifies the formulation of a new policy framework to ensure that responsibilities for the transport sector that is policy making, administration, planning and regulation are clearly defined and separated.
According to her, the policy should also reflect that Gambia’s commitment to regional transport cooperation and integration in accordance with the transport and transit protocol issued by ECOWAS to which Gambia is signatory.