Posted - 24 May 2019 : 11:56:05
BCC Should Lead and Coordinate the Banjul Road Rehabilitation Project
By Madi Jobarteh
From the outset I want to strongly advise Mayor Rohey Lowe and Banjul Councilors to demand full hand over and control of this project from the Ministry of Works immediately. If the Ministry refuses to do so let the Mayor and Banjul Councillors and residents therefore refuse to cooperate and stop this project asap and then take the Ministry to the Supreme Court for interpretation of the Local Government Act!
The Local Government Act is clear under Sections 90 and 91 about the position and role of the local councils in terms of the development of the local government area. It says the planning authority in a local government area is the council hence no one can plan and execute anything without the leadership and involvement of the city, municipal or area council.
It is the council that approves and coordinates any project that comes to the local government area for its development. This means the current Banjul road rehabilitation project should be handled and coordinated by the Banjul City Council and not by any ministry or agency.
Here are the relevant sections:
90. (1) Every Council shall be the planning authority for its Area, and may plan and implement any programme or project for developing the infrastructure, improving social services, developing human and financial resources and for the general upliftment of the community.
(2) Every Council shall -
(a) Prepare a comprehensive and uninterrupted development plan for its Area incorporating all ward plans;
(b) Co-ordinate all donor support;
(c) Approve all project agreements; and
(d) Perform such other functions as may be assigned to it.
(3) In performing its functions under this section, a Council shall adopt such processes and procedures and ensure that the communities are involved in the conception and execution of development plans.
91. Central Government technical departments operating within the area of jurisdiction of every Council shall support the development process of the Council through extension workers operating at ward and village levels.
Therefore let Mayor Lowe take this project from the hands of the Ministry of Works and implement it as the legal authority to do so. If the Ministry refuses to hand over the project I advise Banjul councilors and their Mayor to refuse to cooperate and demand a stop to the project. Next they must go to the Supreme Court to determine who bears the legal responsibility for this project according to the Local Government Act.
The Gambia Government should have known better to realize that it is the BCC that should run this project. The Government's role is to provide the necessary support and ensure accountability of the Council but not to implement directly.
This project is not a favour to BCC or the residents of Banjul. It is their right. So let BCC defend the rights of Banjul and not allow the Government to toy with them as minions.
it is high time we insist on the rule of law and high standards in governance and development.
For the Gambia Our Homeland
A clear conscience fears no accusation - proverb from Sierra Leone