Sep 30, 2015, 11:40 AM
managing director of The Gambia Ports Authority has spoke highly of the
authority’s 20 year new articulated master plan, saying with the new political
dispensation, the future of GPA looks bright.
Ousman Jobarteh was speaking during a recent interview with reporters at his office in Banjul about the authority’s long term strategy plans, achievement, and challenges over the years.
However, the new master plan, which 2019-2038, was developed by an international consultancy firm based in the Netherlands. The new master plan, also identifies all the infrastructural improvement needs of the port.
The primary recommendation of the consultancy, he said, is the need to extend the ship accommodation at the port.
Jobarteh recalled that the initiative started in 2002 and was updated in 2008.
‘‘But over the years water has passed over the bridge in term of the component,’’ he added.
The port, he added, has new challenges and that some of the component were identified and other are already been achieved while some have already phased out or irrelevant.
‘‘Currently, GPA has new challenges in the growth businesses. And this has warranted the port to come up with this master plan’’.
He continued; ‘‘As economic operator our aim is to ensure efficiency and improvement in cargo handling, so that we can contribute meaningfully to the economic development of the country’’.
Mr Jobarteh however, observed that with rapid growth in terms of the volume of businesses at the port in the last 7years has been overwhelming, saying all this development is due to confidence in the domestic investment climate and new political dispensation that is given businesses and cargo receivers more confidence to do business in the country.
‘‘The volume keep on increasing and these very strong and real indicators is in line with the projector in the national development that is produced by the Ministry of Finance’’.
He thus expressed appreciation with this increased in the volume of businesses at the ports, noting that as an economic operator, GPA’s inputs have a bearing on the socio-economic development of the country.
GPA MD disclosed that plans are underway to expand the land, demolish structure so as to create more space for container storage around Half Die area in Banjul.
To this end, he calls for the need to shift to immediate digitalization that is the computerization of the ports operations.
He noted that the volume that the port is handling calls for IT Solution as the port is handling containers in the excess of 130,000 boxes per annum.
‘‘Therefore, computerization would greatly help in information handling and processing. There is an institutional arrangement of human resources production improvement measures which are all articulated in the new master plan”.
Regarding its short term plans, Mr Jobarteh maintained that GPA have a five years business plan that is set to rollout projects that would immediately addressed the port challenges and in the longer term for sustained growth and improvement of infrastructural development.
The assets of the Ports, he added, are based on the human capital; which he described, as one of the most important components at the port.
“GPA belongs to the country and so our objective is to contribute more meaningfully toward the socio-economic development of The Gambia. 80 percent of the international trade of the country passed through the port. Secondly the developments that are we witnessing at the port have been unprecedented in terms of the growth and the indicators are strong and real. We need to harness that potential for it to serve not only The Gambia, but the sub region”.