By Ramatoulie Jawo
Rohey Malick Lowe, Mayor of Banjul on Monday told the National Assembly that her office (Banjul City Council – BCC) is boycotting the Committee Project meetings of the Banjul Rehabilitation Project because she has not been provided with a copy of the project documents.
“We will never attend the meeting. Even if they call us tomorrow, we will not go unless, and until we receive the project documents because we cannot attend a meeting we don’t know anything about,” she stressed.
She added that BCC knows virtually nothing about the project and that she has been requesting for the project documents, but never got them.
“We can’t be in a meeting where we do not know anything about, because the project documents will address the issues going on about the project. But we do not know anything about the project,” she said.
She expressed hope that the parliamentarians would understand her being the Mayor of Banjul, she had to sit at the National Assembly to hear more things revealed about her own city that she didn’t know anything about.
“It’s very painful for me to be sitting here, after four years. Yes, compliments are being given for the project, which I do appreciate because the project started not from the President going around in Banjul, but it started in my office. I have a memory of everything that happened from the beginning of this project. They decided to sideline us (BCC) from the project, which is very bad,” she lamented.
Honourable Yaya Sanyang, Chairperson of the monitoring committee then asked the Honourable Minister of Transports the reason BCC did not receive any documents of the project
In his response, the Minister, Hon. Ebrima Sillah said that it’s news to him hearing that the Mayor didn’t receive the project documents.
He then promised to personally provide Mayor Lowe with a copy of the documents, and also revealed a saving of US$7 million, after a reassessment of the project.
According to the Minister, the amount would be used to complete works on other outstanding roads in Banjul.
He called on Mayor Lowe to reconsider her decision and work with them because the project is for Banjul, which she needs to take ownership of.
Silllah said that the time he came into office as Works Minister, he had called the Mayor and had a truthful conversation.
“I told her that this project is a legacy for her, which she should take ownership of,” he said.
Both the Minister and the Chairman of the Committee appealed to the Mayor to reconsider her decision and work with the Ministry of Transports saying, the project is a national project and would be headed over them, at the end of day.
The National Assembly’s Select Committee on Monitoring the Implementation of Government Projects Monday engaged the Ministry of Works and the Mayor of Banjul City Council on the Banjul Roads, Drainage and Sewage Project.