‘PAGE implementation projected at D25BN’
The permanent secretary at the Ministry of Finance and Economic Affairs has disclosed that for the implementation of the Programme for Accelerated Growth and Employment (PAGE), the medium term development blueprint of the government of The Gambia, it is projected to cost 25 billion Dalasis.
Speaking at a daylong forum on the Public-Private Partnership (PPP) Policy for The Gambia at a local hotel in Kololi, Abdoulie Jallow said the government is committed to contribute 35 percent of this bill (the PAGE cost) with the private sector and the donors expected to fill the remaining financing gap of 65 percent.
“A crucial challenge we must undertake for this medium to long term is modernising our infrastructure as enshrined in pillar two of PAGE,” he underscored. This will help us create more jobs and uplift the quality of our lives,” he said.
PS Jallow said the government is seeking serious minded investors who will utilise the country’s infrastructure as opportunities to do profitable businesses in The Gambia. He pointed out the opportunities for viable investments in The Gambia, citing education, agriculture, power and water supply, waste management, transport, real estate and housing development as promising in terms of investment prospects.
He thus underscored the importance of PPPs, maintaining that they have the potential of reducing the pressure on government budget, boost the transfer of technology and skills through enhancing indigenous capacity. The PPPs, he added, will also challenge the municipalities and local government authorities to creatively respond to the challenge of infrastructure development rather than wait on government support.
“There is a great expectation among our people that The Gambia stands at a new era of threshold in economic and social development largely due to radical modernisation of our infrastructure. It’s our collective resolve to build on the massive strides registered by the government since 1994 and transform our infrastructure challenges from obstacles to catalysts of poverty alleviation and sustainable development.
To achieve this objective it requires a positive and dynamic partnership between the public and the private sector as has become the norm across the globe. PPPs to finance infrastructural developments have become inevitable in most parts of the globe because of the simple reality that government alone cannot have sufficient resources to meet all its financial requirements. It is estimated for instance that the enlarge European Union will require 500 billion to provide new public infrastructure in building schools, roads, hospitals and railways.
A few of major public infrastructure projects undertaken through PPPs in developed countries include the Airport Lake, Cross-City Tunnel, Lake Gov Tunnel and Sydney Harbour Tunnel and M2 Hills Motorway in Sydney, Australia,” Jallow remarked.
The stark reality, he noted, is that PPP offers the only realistic route to the realisation of The Gambia’s full development potentials and that the government, he noted is determined to show the light for others.