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Jammeh lays foundation stone for new Assembly building

Jul 28, 2010, 12:30 PM | Article By: Momodou Faal

President Yahya Jammeh on Monday laid the foundation stone for a new National Assembly building, and thanked the government of India for giving The Gambia a grant of $10 million for the project.

The loan for the new assembly building was negotiated through an Indian bank, and was signed by The Gambia government in August 2008. An Indian company won the contract to construct the building, and signed the contract May 2010.

The Speaker of the National Assembly, Hon. Elizabeth Renner, speaking later at a mass meeting held in Banjul, revealed that because of the effects of the global financial crisis, the 10 million may not be enough, and announced that there is a funding gap.

When completed the new assembly building will house, apart from the debating chamber, the office of the speaker, offices for the majority and minority leaders, committee rooms, among others. 

Addressing the meeting in Banjul, at the conclusion of his Dialogue-with-the-People-Tour, President Yahya Jammeh described the laying of the foundation stone for the new National Assembly building as "historic".

The meeting was held at Arch 22nd in Banjul, and President Jammeh thanked the government of India for the grant.

Declaring that there cannot be democracy without a parliament, President Jammeh went on to hail Banjulians for their continuing support to his government and the ruling APRC party.

He assured them that he will never fail them, adding that there are more surprises coming to them in connection with the development of the capital city.

Following an appeal made by the women and youths of Banjul, during the meeting, for the Gambian leader to assist them to venture into business and other lucrative ventures, the President promised to provide an amount of D3 million to the women.

He said the money will be channeled through the Mayor of Banjul, and will be a revolving fund that provides loans without any interest.

President Jammeh announced that D3 million will also be given to the youths, and urged the Mayor to assist only youths who are 'serious.'

Speaking earlier, in his remarks to welcome the President at the meeting, the Mayor of Banjul, Samba Faal, stated that Banjul has not been left behind in the development agenda of the government, and assured President Jammeh that Banjul will always rally behind the APRC.

He also thanked the President for the new National Assembly of the Second Republic which is to be built in Banjul.

Councilor Assan Cham of the Banjul City Council, speaking at the same meeting, said the BCC during the two and half years of their tenure, spent D750, 000 in the area of education, and is presently refurbishing Garba Jahumpa Upper Basic School to the tune of D 2.5 million. He added that when they came to council, the BCC had only one tractor, but today they can boast of seven.

Hon. Yusupha Kah, the Minister of Trade, Employment and Regional Integration, who also doubles as the ruling party's liaison officer for Banjul, called on the youths to be disciplined and to stay away from illicit drugs.

He added that President Jammeh has done a lot for Banjul, and noted that it was now time for the youths to reciprocate it with continuing support to him and his government.

Hon. Lamin Kabba Bajo also thanked Banjulians for their love for the President, and urged parents to register youths of voting age for the forthcoming general elections.

Other speakers at the meeting included Hon. Babucarr Nyang of Banjul South, Hon. Abdoulie Saine of Banjul Central, APRC national mobiliser KMC Mayor Yankuba Colley, Aji Awa Jah and Fatou Bah, both yai compins in Banjul. The meeting was chaired by Hon. Alhaji Sillah of Banjul North and APRC desk officer for Banjul.