By Landing Ceesay
Gambian President, Adama Barrow has urged the private sector to invest in the country’s transport sector.
“We must note that efficiency in the transport sector cannot come about without the active participation of the private sector. In this regard, we renew the invitation to the private sector operators to participate in operating an effective and efficient transport system in the country. Given the fact that the road transport system is liberalised, I challenge the private sector to play a more active and diverse role in the sector, ” the Gambian President said.
President Barrow said the collaboration established by Q-Group and The Gambia Transport Services Company (GTSC) is highly commendable, and advocated the promotion of such a mutual collaboration and cooperation.
Barrow further stated that In accordance with the National Transport Policy, The Gambia Government would create incentives to facilitate and broaden private sector participation in public transportation activities.
“I assure you that Government will continue to support GTSC to operate buses in all regions of the country, while encouraging private partners to invest more in infrastructure development to support the sector. We will consider allocating routes on the local and secondary roads to GTSC, based on agreed terms of engagement beneficial to all partners,” he said.
The Gambian President continued that the relevant authorities would arrange to review the legislative frameworks to enable the Government to play the triple role of facilitator, regulator, and enforcer; while the private sector takes on operational responsibilities within the sector.
President Barrow said the supply credit arrangement between GTSC and the Q-Group (Espace Motors), through the provision of urban transport services, would immensely ease transportation for low-income households.
This, he added would make transport operations more viable, as transport providers are likely to increase hours of operation, service frequency, and destinations.
“I have noted that the project will create employment for at least seventy Gambians. With the good safety record of GTSC over the years, we hope the initiative will lower the high rate of road accidents to the barest minimum.
“I thank the GTSC for their tireless efforts to provide reliable public transport service in The Gambia. The Urban Transport Services Initiative clearly symbolises a new era of collaboration for public transport service provision. We pray that it succeeds,” the Gambian President said.
The Gambian President made these remarks while presiding over the commissioning the 33 new buses on Tuesday at the McCarthy Square in Banjul.