Jan 21, 2010, 2:25 PM
The renovation cost the bank a whopping amount of over Four Hundred Thousand Dalasis.
Speaking at the handing over ceremony attended by Fatou Mass Jobe-Njie, the Minister of Tourism and Culture, Oreme Joiner, General Manager of Trust Bank said the NCAC is one of the institutions entrusted with one of the most enviable remits for the benefit of our nation.
‘‘Its most important task of course is the preservation of our nation’s heritage. However, it also includes the research, display, presentation, communication of all aspects about the Gambia’s glorious heritage,’’ he stated.
According to the Trust Bank General Manager, Trust Bank recognizes the very important role the NCAC plays in safeguarding the country’s past for the consumption of present and in particular, future generations.
‘‘Our relationship with the NCAC is multi-facetted and includes that our bank has adopted the Wassu Stone Circle to symbolize the unique Gambian nature of our enterprise. The Wassu Stone Circle is the oldest and most recognizable UNESCO heritage site in The Gambia and of course the NCAC are its custodian,’’ Joiner noted.
The NCAC, he added, has provided very useful guidance to Trust Bank in the area of Gambian history and culture and this has been an important source of research material for the bank’s numerous activities over the years.
Joiner further stated that the completion and formal handing over of the roofing project started with the recognition that the National Museum building is close to a 100 years old and time has taken its toll on the structure itself.
This, he went on, led Trust Bank into the decision to commit its resources to give the uniquely important building a gradual facelift.
‘‘The challenges are numerous but we strongly believe that the starting point should be the protection of exhibits from the elements which means that we concentrate on the roof first and take it from there,’’ he stated.
For her part, Fatou Mass Jobe-Njie, Minister of Tourism and Culture, said the generous intervention by Trust Bank has come as a big relieve to her personally, and of course to the NCAC management.
She stated that the intervention has not only improved the facade and image of the building but will also help to protect and conserve the precious and priceless artifacts displayed in the museum.
‘‘I have always expressed government’s concern with the poor state of the National Museum roof and perimeter fence. Due to inadequate finances, the NCAC was unable to do much which was why we approached the bank to come and rescue our Gambian arts and cultural heritage,’’ Minister Jobe-Njie added.
According to her, Trust Bank Gambia Limited, a bank that is proudly Gambian has in the past five years develop a fruitful and cooperative relationship with the NCAC in line with the sacred corporate responsibilities of the bank and the assigned mandate of the NCAC to safeguard our cultural heritage.
‘‘As culture is a transversal phenomena and pervades all aspects of human endeavor and sustainable development, by supporting culture, Trust Bank is contributing to the development of what all of us cherish as ours,’’ she stated.
In 2009, Minister Jobe-Njie recalled, Trust Bank sponsored the rehabilitation of the fence and gate and road signage of the Wassu Stone Circle Site, one of our most cherished heritage sites which is in the UNESCO World Heritage List.
This intervention, she went on, was indeed timely as it came just before UNESCO were to undertake their regular inspection and periodic reporting on World Heritage Sites.
‘‘Naturally, fencing helps protect and preserve the site whilst signage contribute to their visibility and guide access to the site,’’ she added.
Tijan Kamara, Chairman, NCAC Board thanked Trust Bank Gambia for their contribution to nation building over the years.
‘‘Trust Bank has supported us a lot especially in the area of renovating the National Museum. I also thank the NCAC Board for the task to go and meet Trust Bank Board and Management for their intervention,’’ Kamara added.
The handing over ceremony was witnessed by senior government officials and officials of Trust Bank Gambia Limited.