Gov’t to relocate Mile 2 prisons, expand Banjul port

Jun 28, 2024, 11:25 AM | Article By: Jankey Ceesay 

His Excellency President Adama Barrow, giving the 2024 State of the Nation Address (SoNA), at the National Assembly on Thursday, disclosed that plans are underway to relocate the Mile 2 prison property and integrate its space into the Banjul port area.

“In the correctional system,” the president disclosed, “plans are underway to close the Mile 2 prison property and integrate it into the Banjul port area. The entity will be transferred to Jeshwang or relocated to a new site in the Greater Banjul Area. This is in accordance with the TRRC recommendations and various human rights reports.”

On police stations commissioned, he said: “In 2023, we inaugurated four model police stations, fully equipped with modern equipment, and constructed fifty-two (52) new accommodation rooms for the military in Farafenni.  All were fully funded by Government.

 “To complement these efforts, we have commissioned two naval vessels, one funded by the Government of The Gambia and another donated by the Kingdom of Spain. This development has facilitated collaboration with the Republic of Senegal to combat cross-border crimes.”

He commended the Gambia Immigration Department, which reported a “significant increase” in revenue performance in 2023, collecting over two hundred million dalasis (GMD200 Million), as opposed to one hundred and four million, four hundred and seven thousand, one hundred and thirty dalasis (GMD104, 407,130) in 2022.

“The increase certainly indicates improved financial management and a more effective monitoring system,” he added.

Pointing out that migration remains a critical matter globally, the president said: “My government is thus exploring legal pathways for Gambian migrants through Bilateral Labour Migration Cooperation.”

He also commended Gambians in the diaspora for their vital support to the home economy: “I am grateful to the Gambian Diaspora for their significant contributions to national development. Remittances in 2023 equalled seven hundred and thirty-five million dollars (US$735 Million). These funds contributed to supporting families back home and contributed to our national development efforts.”

He further highlighted government’s stance on illicit drug. “Our stance against drug abuse is underscored by impressive seizures and convictions achieved by the Drug Law Enforcement Agency,” he said, adding: “The Agency is working actively with partners to establish a rehabilitation centre and has launched a drug demand reduction programme to educate the people, particularly young persons, on the dangers of drug abuse.”