MUHAMMED S. BAH
Gambia Transport Service Company (GTSC) on Sunday, 8 January, 2016 commissioned its first International Express Service from Banjul to Koundara in Guinea Conakry.
The event, graced by the Guinean Ambassador to the Gambia, was held at the GTSC main depot at Kanifing with entertainment provided by cultural groups.
In his statement, Habib Drammeh, General Manager, GTSC, revealed that the launching of this new service was a plan that was long conceived in 2016.
“We believe that this is in the general spirit of the sub region or ECOWAS cooperation and it is our duties to contribute toward that development, to ensure that people travel easily between Gambia and Guinea, Senegal, Gambia and Mali and Sierra Leone this is our Plan,” said the GTSC GM.
Mr. Drammeh also revealed that the first passenger in the person of one Kaddijatou Sey, who patronised this new international service to Guinea Conakry, will be awarded a certificate and some token.
The GTSC General Manager thanked their customers for their support and urged them to continue patronising the service which, he added, is very reliable, affordable and comfortable with a lot of facilities.
He said this new service is called “The Gambia International Service” and will be running from the Kanifing Depot in Gambia to Koundara in Guinea Conakry four times in a week.
Mr. Drammeh noted that the objective of this new product is to offer reliable and affordable service to Gambians and the general public both within and outside the country.
According to Mr. Drammeh, the transportation cost from Kanifing to Koundara is pegged at D1,440 per person until end of January 2017.
In explaining the facilities in the bus, Mr. Drammeh said the bus is equipped with A/C and fans, free refreshments (free snack and drink), in-bus video for entertainment, spacious seats, first aid kit, comfortable seats, experienced staff and a fast service.
He further said customers are further advised “to say no to poor service”, and the management of the company wishes all “the best for money with no hidden costs”.
Also speaking at the inauguration was the GTSC Board chairman, Mr. Edward Graham, who also doubles as the Managing Director of Social Security and Housing Finance Corporation (SSHFC). He described the event as one of the most joyful in the history of the company, adding that it is not only for the GTSC but the country and the sub region as a whole.
“I could remember when this idea was brought by the GTSC management, it seems to be a very perfect reality, but due to the hard work of the management team, and the board of directors, we are here today to see the maiden bus leaving Banjul to Guinea Conakry,” said the board chair.
He said hard work, commitment and team work always achieve better results within a short period of time thanks to the staff and management of the GTSC and its board of directors for making this dream becomes reality.
Mr. Graham noted that their mission is to make GTSC not only to be the number one in the Gambia, but number one in the region. “We are going to expand our service to other regions, and this move is not only to maximize return of the investment but also to ease the movement of people and goods,” he added.
He said in easing movements, GTSC will be contributing meaningfully towards the socio-economic development not only of the Gambia but the sub region.
He therefore thanked both the board, management, staff and Government of the Gambia for facilitating this investment venture.
In her vote of thanks, Aji Yamudow Jagne, International Service Project Manager, thanked their customers for gracing this occasion. She said it is GTSC vision to become the best transport operator in the sub region and that this service to Guinea is the first step in turning that dream into a reality. “We will continue to ensure that we provide a safe and reliable service to all our destinations, to avoid any delay. We promise to improve and expand our service to the best standard possible to satisfy your need and expectation,” she said.
For his part, Hon. Nabi Ebrahim Yula, the Guinean Ambassador to The Gambia, also thanked the government of the Gambia and management of GTSC for facilitating this service which, he said, will yield lot of dividends in the sub region.
The first passengers of the bus were later called to enter the bus and were served food and drinks.