What happened to Adama Barrow’s promise that he would protect The Gambia from foreign predators?
Since he took office as the country’s third president, Barrow and his government have been standing idly by as Senegalese companies milk The Gambia dry.
“This is a humiliating blow to national pride. Most of the Senegalese firms in the country are not headquartered here and that means less tax revenue to invest in public services,” said an insider at the Ministry of Finance and Economic Affairs.
What’s On Gambia has gathered that the new government’s first major development project, which is the expansion of the Bertil Harding Highway, is to be awarded to the Senegalese construction company, Compagnie Sahélienne d'Entreprises (CSE)”.
A source disclosed: “There are plans to single source the contract to CSE without allowing tenders from other contractors. Why CSE? Why not another firm?”
According to our source, the project would cost taxpayers $60m.
Sometime last year, Barrow government signed an MOU with Société Nationale d’Électricité de Sénégal (SENELEC) to supply the country between 3 to 10 megawatts of electricity, with the possibility of expansion as the capacity of the network grows.
Since the project started, the government refused to reveal to Gambians how much Dollars SENELEC is making from the MOU.
Foroyaa Newspaper wrote recently: “It is important to promote trade between African countries. However, reciprocity and mutual benefit must characterise such trade, if there is to be sustainability instead of dependency. Foroyaa will ask how much it will cost The Gambia to maintain such services and whether the payment in foreign exchange is sustainable. How this will affect the value of the Gambian currency will also be taken care of.”
Senegalese security firm
Freedom Newspaper recently disclosed that after Barrow was sworn in, he contracted private security guards from Senegal to protect him and his family. But this was denied by ECOMIG.