NAMS Ratify $ 5 Million OPEC Loan for Basic, Secondary Education Sector

By Muhammad Bah
The members of the National Assembly on Monday, 22 June 2015, ratifiedNew National Assembly Building
a loan agreement between the Government of The Gambia and the OPEC
fund for International Development (OFID) of 5 million US dollars for
the funding of basic and secondary education school projects.Presenting the motion before the deputies, Mr. Abdou Kolley, Minister
of Finance and Economic Affairs, said the credit finance agreement was
signed with OFID on August 13th, 2014.

Minister Kolley said the objective of the loan is to support the
government’s current education policy and plans which seek to
complement national development efforts by giving education direction
and prominence in order to provide equal opportunities for all and to
achieve sustainable development.

He told the National Assembly that the ultimate goal of the loan is to
support the creation of an enabling environment for teaching and
learning in the basic and secondary schools and to improve access to
better quality education across the country.

The finance and economic affairs minister added that the loan
agreement is highly concessional, as repayment would be in 20 years’
time, including a 5 years grace period before the repayment starts.

He called on the NAMs to ratify what he called “an important agreement.”
Responding to the motion, the National Assembly Member (NAM) for
Kantora, Hon. Saikou Susso, told deputies that the students of the
senior secondary school in Fatoto, Upper River Region, do not have
access to drinking water in the school for seven years now.  He
expressed hope that this loan will be partly utilised to address such
issues as the problem is affecting the school in Fatoto.

Hon. Lamin Jaddama, NAM for Niamina West, and Hon. Foday Jallow, NAM
for Niamina East, also highlighted the unsatisfactory condition of
having the Niamina Senior School and Niamina Upper Basic housed in the
same premises.