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President Jammeh snips off the ribbons, commissioning two new ferries, "Kansala" and "Aljamdu" at the Gambia Ports Authority.

Unveiling of the plaque.

The President on a conducted tour of the " Kansala" and "Aljamdu" ferries.

The newly commissioned ferries.




President jammeh commissions new fleet of ferries

23rd July 2011

The President, His Excellency Sheikh Professor Alhaji  Dr. Yahya Jammeh, as part of celebrations marking the 17th Anniversary of the July, 22nd Revolution, Saturday commissioned a fleet of new ferries that will take over service at the Banjul/Barra crossing. "Aljamdu" and "Kansala", were acquired by Government at the tune of €6, 345, 000 and their operations are entrusted to a new management headed by an official of the Greek firm, Gallia Holdings Ltd. The company accounts for 55% of the shares on both ferries.

Story by Abdou Njie:

It is the 21st Century and the need for first class service is all the eminent. The Transportation industry is again the target, with The Gambia's ferry services, which has of late, been criticized for inefficient operations, receiving a major government intervention. The fleet, commissioned by the President cost a fortune, but as he toured it inside out there was at least a general consensus that they indeed worth the investment. "Aljamdu" and "Kansala", are their adopted names and have come as major relieve to not only passengers plying the river crossing but also to the Gambian team, currently being schooled by their Greek counterparts.

In a statement delivered on his behalf by the Vice President Her Excellency Aja Dr. Isatou Njie-Saidy, the President called on the current management of the ferry services to draw lessons from the aging fleet currently plying Banjul and Barra. Joheé and Kanilai have paid greatly the Gambian disease of lack of proper maintenance. The President's cue is that this current fleet must not under any condition follow the same pattern:

The President's statement:

"At this juncture, I would like to urge the Management of these ferries and The Gambia Ferry Services to formulate and implement an appropriate and systematic preventive maintenance schedules/programs to avoid unnecessary breakdown thus increasing the life-span of the ferries.  It is my sincere hope that the Management would learn lessons from previous experiences with the Joheé and Kanilai and others so that these two modern ferries will not follow similar pattern."

It could be recalled that the President had summoned the top management of the Gambia Ports Authority to address the problems of the ferry services. This was followed shortly by an executive order to hiving the Ferry Service Division from the GPA, creating the opportunity for a joint venture between Government and Gallia Holdings. That venture has yielded results, being linked to commemorations of the 17th Anniversary of the July '94 Revolution:

The President's statement:

"The greatest challenge for Gambia Ferry Services now is how to turn these ferries into a sustainable venture through proper and efficient management and preventive maintenance to enhance durability or even to be able to replace them appropriately without any hitch in the future.  You would recall that I posed similar challenge to GPA in 2005 when I commissioned Kanilai but I hope this time around, the lessons would be learnt, and the ferry services will eventually be a self-sustaining institution for the benefit of the Gambian people.

May I also take this opportunity to urge the entire citizenry to take ownership of these ferries, and use them with great care.  Whilst it is Government's responsibility to provide such facilities and amenities but equally it is also the responsibility of citizens to take them as their personal possession, and handle them with care that they would ordinarily give to their own properties.  Only then can we all achieve a positive-sum-game where all of us will be winners in this great journey towards the achievement of Vision 2020."

The revolution that ushered in the Government of President Jammeh has continued to propel most needed changes in the crucial sectors of the economy. River transportation, is an important element in the free movement of goods and services, and therefore collects substantial revenue for government.





















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