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Honourable Ministers,

Secretary General and Head of the Civil Service,

Honourable National Assembly members,

Regional Governors,   

Partners in Development,

District Chiefs and Alkalolu,

Distinguished Guests,

Ladies and Gentlemen,


Today’s formal ceremony is a great day for the communities living along the Laminkoto-Passimas road corridor and for The Gambia as a whole. This road project extends for one hundred and twenty-one (121) kilometres, fulfilling the goal of completing the Gambia’s North Bank trunk road to bituminous standard.  


From Barra, the road connects the northern part to the southern part of the country. It is a symbol of development that will impact thousands of lives, as it will ease access to health care and education, while enhancing movement of people, goods and services. By all measures, it will further promote trade and regional connectivity.  


Ladies and Gentlemen,

It goes without saying that the road comes with such other advantages as improving access to the great agricultural potential of the north eastern region, facilitating effective implementation of the Government’s rural development programmes.  The road will also stimulate the provision of better and more effective public services, including agricultural extension to encourage greater production. All these are critical to The Gambia’s food self-sufficiency drive and foreign exchange earnings.   In sum, the project provides a viable pathway to economic prosperity and social progress.


Cognisant of the benefits that could accrue from this road, the Government collaborated with supportive development partners to fund this magnificent infrastructural project. In this respect, I acknowledge the significant funding provided by Saudi Fund, Kuwait fund for Arab Economic Development, OPEC Fund for International Development, Arab Bank for Economic Development in Africa - BADEA, and the African Development Bank – ADFD.


On behalf of the Government and people of The Gambia, I express heartfelt appreciation of their laudable contribution to the achievement of this component of the National Development Plan. 


Prior to the project, the Laminkoto-Passimas road had deteriorated badly due to a number of factors. A major factor was the uneven terrain through which the gravel road was built. Another factor was the absence of a proper in-built drainage system. Thus, the issue of drainage was one of the key factors considered during the project design process. As such, one hundred and twenty (120) culverts and drains have been constructed to ensure adequate drainage of both the main and access roads. These are meant to ease the proper movement of water from the road structure to outfalls.


I am proud to state that the development of this road mirrors our mission and commitment to raising living standards by creating platforms for economic growth and job creation, as enshrined in our National Development Plan.


I congratulate the Ministry of Transport, Works and Infrastructure and the National Roads Authority on the successful completion of the construction works, and we commend them for their devotion and commitment to the project.


At this juncture, allow me to thank the Project Consultants - Pan Arab Consulting Engineers (PACE) and Cityscape Associates, as well as the contractor, Arezki, for executing their contracts with due diligence and within time and budget. 


Every single, dedicated worker who toiled to make this project a success has contributed to making this great day possible. On behalf of the people of the Gambia, I say to each one of you: Thank you.

Worthy of mention also are the members of the communities who endured the noise, dust and all other environmental inconveniences that erupted during the construction phase of the project. Hoping that it was worth all the trouble, I thank all of you.


Ladies and Gentlemen, 

For the fact that a greater part of the road traverses settlement areas of the Sami, Sandu and Wuli districts, the design and implementation of this road was done with road safety issues in mind. In this regard, specific road-safety measures have been taken. 


I urge all users, more so the communities living along the corridor, to follow the traffic rules and all road safety regulations developed for our general safety and comfort so that all of us will continue to enjoy our roads with ease and comfort. May God guide and protect every user of this road.  


In conclusion, the successful completion of this project is a clear signpost of the implementation of the National Development Plan. We will continue to maintain and expand the urban, secondary and feeder road networks in order to improve accessibility and induce acceptable travel time between destinations for all travellers.


Ladies and Gentlemen,

I now declare the Laminkoto-Passimas road open.

Thank you for your attention.