Hamat NK Bah, Minister of Tourism and Culture, has announced that the construction of a new building to house his Ministry and the Gambia Tourism Board, GTBoard, will soon be completed.
He was speaking at a press conference held on 22 February, 2022 where he also disassociated himself from the earlier contract agreement between the GTBoard and Construct Company.
In 2015, the GTBoard under Director General Abdoulie Hydara signed an agreement with Construct Limited, a local construction company, to build a craft market for women of the Fajara Craft Market, as well as the Tropics Building to host offices for the GTBoard and Tourism Ministry.
“When I came to the Ministry, I found that there was a contract signed by the previous government for this company to build a shopping mall, and on top of it will be the Ministry of Tourism and GTBoard.
“I never saw this contract and I have never seen it; but when they told me, I told them categorically that I will never have a Ministry and GTBoard on top of a shopping mall.
“I told them this will not be productive, and it will never happen for the Ministry and GTBoard to be on top of a shopping mall.
“I asked them to go and renegotiate the contract. They have renegotiated the contract, and the man is building them a new headquarters which will soon be ready.”
TAT’s reporter recently spoke with Fara Shams, Managing Director of Construct Limited, on why the GTBoard and Ministry of Tourism are yet to occupy the offices on top of Tropics Shopping Mall.
He disclosed to this reporter that Hamat Bah declined to move the Ministry to the offices allocated to them after his visit in 2017.
This prompted the renegotiation of the contract agreement for a new headquarters building at a different site within the Tourism Development Area, TDA, he added.
According to Shams, a site was identified by the Tourism authorities around Palma Rima Hotel, and work was started. He said the three-storey office building will cost more than D50 million.
Shams also said the contract agreement with the GTBoard has made it possible for the women vendors to enjoy a new craft market, and for the country to have a standard shopping mall for the first time in the TDA.