Ahead of Upcoming Mayoral Elections Femi Peters Outlines Strategic Development Plans

Friday, January 11, 2008

Mr. Femi Peters, the United Democratic Party candidate for the Banjul Mayoral election, has said that as far as his candidature is concerned, it is a challenge. “If I don’t take the challenge, it means I am shirking my responsibility, as a Gambian, to the people of Banjul in particular and the people of The Gambia as a whole.”

Speaking in an interview with this paper yesterday, a self-assured Mr. Peters expressed confidence in his plans for the city of Banjul if elected Mayor.

Commenting on his intended plans, Mr Peters revealed that his objective for the city is a replica of the ‘Marshal Plan,’ which, according to him, would address most of the problems of the council. He indicated that his objectives and wish for the council would serve as a development base for the council. Mr. Peters expressed the belief that Banjul needs what he calls a ‘Marshal Plan.’

“When you come into Banjul and look around, you need no one to tell you that the environment is not conducive enough to call it a capital; and it is this poor physical image that we need to improve upon,” he said, adding: “Development was the main rationale behind the Marshal Plan for the postwar reconstruction of Europe.”

He explained that his plan would cover certain areas that would be put before development partners to see how best they could help improve the council.

“I am saying this for the fact that I am not aware if there are any plans for Banjul as it should be.

“Banjul as you know is the capital of The Gambia and should have to be looked at from various perspectives; because if you move around it, people are putting up certain structures in areas they should not be.”

He also made known his intention to establish a Banjul Development Fund, which can bring on board the contributions of Banjulians living outside Banjul, for the meaningful development of the city.

“As far as I am concerned, we cannot depend on aid from outside. We must try to use our own internal resources, and those outside would be able to top up what we intend to do.”

He outlined that among his development plans would be to set up an educational trust fund for school-going children in Banjul; putting up street lights and water systems in strategic areas, as well as improving upon the sanitary situation in the city.

He also spoke of the possibility of improving the current state of the council’s headquarters, noting that the headquarters need to be refurbished even if it calls for renting outside.

Yet another alternative is to knock down the whole structure and put in place a more impressive structure, like a storey building, to accommodate the offices of the city council on the top floor, and the city hall to be located on the ground floor, which could be used for marriage ceremonies, parties and receptions among other things.

Mr. Peters conceded that it is not that nothing has been done, but that one has to do more to make sure that the desired results are achieved. “If you have revenue coming in to a business or concern, then one must look for a way to improve its existing functions, operations and assets,” Mr Peters concluded.

Author: By Abba Gibba & Pa Modou Faal
Source: The Point