President Adama Barrow pledged his Government's support for the improvement and expansion of the Gam-Petroleum fuel storage facility in Mandinari during a surprise visit to the depot and other government institutions on Thursday. Commenting on the purpose of the visit, the Gambian Leader said it was to familiarize himself with the facility and the management. He added that the viability and security of the fuel depot is a matter of national security and priority hence it is managed and secured by Gambians.
While on a conducted tour of the facility by the management team, President Barrow commented that it was critical to adopt a strategy with clearly outlined steps to secure the facility as a national entity.
In line with his government’s policy to promote the Gambian private sector growth, President Barrow also encouraged Gambian Investors to invest in the petroleum industry to ensure a level playing field and competitive market rates in the industry.
Responding to the Human Resource capacity concerns, the Gambian President revealed that there are ongoing plans for local and international training programmes for personnel on new and emerging technologies to operate and manage the multi-million dollar infrastructure effectively. He stated his commitment to this cause while urging the staff and management to be aware of illegal and unauthorised activities.
On his immediate reaction to the visit, President Barrow noted that he has made observations that are key to the facility's operation and that the presidency will collaborate with experts to map out protocols that will ensure more efficient management of the infrastructure.
The Presidential convoy also made brief stops at the Ministries of Higher Education, Research, Science, and Technology, the Ministry of Interior, and the Ministry of Transport, Works, and Infrastructure. President Barrow was taken on a tour of the institutions by the respective Ministers. The visits gave the President the opportunity to familiarise himself with the work environment, interact with staff and encourage them to be steadfast in their work and keep up the great momentum.
Following his meeting with the Minister of Transport, Works and Infrastructure, Honorable Bai Lamin Jobe, President Barrow lauded the Minister and his team as well as the National Roads Authority for their hard work in the preparation process of the Organisation of Islamic Conference (OIC) Summit. He expressed confidence in The Gambia's readiness to host the Summit in 2022. He urged all the relevant authorities to work together towards achieving this goal.