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KMC PRO speaks on Youth Monument, others

Dec 21, 2011, 10:49 AM | Article By: Sainey M.K. Marenah

The public relations officer of the Kanifing Municipal Council, Pa Kalifa Sanyang, has been speaking on a wide range of issues, including the Youth Monument at Westfield Junction, on the council’s future plans for the year 2012, as well as the payment of rates and taxes.

In an interview with this reporter, Sanyang denied reports that the Youth Monument grounds have been sold, stating that the monument is under the care of the government.

Describing the reports as baseless and unfounded, the KMC spokesman said the issue of the monument was first raised during the 2008 National Youth Conference and Festival held in Farafenni, and has since then generated a lot of controversy.

He recalled that at that conference, youths called for full ownership of the monument grounds, and that their calls have now been responded to by the relevant authorities.

“The monument is not for sale to any individual or company. It is directly under government’s control,” Sanyang declared.

It would be recalled that a foreign businessperson had built and run a bar and restaurant located at the grounds of the Youth Monument at Westfield Junction, which has since been closed down.

According to the KMC PRO, the fact that the place is now vacant does not mean that it is not of value to the authorities.

“The government has good initiatives for the place, that will not only benefit locals, but all and sundry,” he said.

“Once the government shows interest in any place which is under our jurisdiction, we will give it to them. Whatever government needs from KMC, they have the right to claim for it, because we are serving the government,” he added.

PRO Sanyang went on to announce that the council wants to see that 60% of the revenue generated by the council is ploughed back to the people through the provision of services and infrastructure within the municipality.

“We have limited resources, but we are striving to meet the demands of the local populace,” he said, adding that, as at now, the council has a total of 20 tractors and two trucks collecting refuse.

Commenting on the plans of the council for the year 2012, Sanyang revealed that council intends to procure more tractors to expand its services and secure additional resources.

However, he noted that one of their main challenges is the non-payment of taxes, especially by those in business.

According to him, after it has issued many warnings to tax defaulters, council is now left with no option than to take legal action against them.

The council is empowered by the Rating Act to sell people’s properties if they default in the payment of rates.

He commended government for introducing through Gamworks the “Delegated Management Contract” which he said, seeks to reduce poverty.