The Gambian government is on the verge of finalizing a Close Circuit Television (CCTV) deal with a Dutch business firm based in the United Kingdom, the Freedom Newspaper, can authoritatively report. The project has been code named: “Smart City Gambia 2017.” It is going to equip the City Banjul, the Greater Banjul Area Community and elsewhere around the country, with CCTV cameras. The project costs $5 Million dollars, payable in 3 years with 3% ($150,000) annual interest totaling $450,000, according to competent sources familiar with the story.

Gambia’s Local Government and Lands Minister’s name Lamin Ndambou Dibba featured in the ongoing negotiations to contract the UK based Dutch Company to provide CCTV cameras to the government. This a domain, which should be handled by the Interior Ministry, but for some unknown reasons, the Ministry of Local government is engaged in the contractual negotiations.

A source, who reached us said: “I can tell you with authority that the project is code named: Smart City Gambia 2017 (which may change if you break the story). The cost is $5 Million which I doubt will change due to the weak position the government negotiates from.”

Our source further wrote:

“Anyway, ref the ‘Smart City Gambia 2017’:

1. The contracted firm is a Dutch firmed based here in UK; 

2. Contract is $5 Million payable in 3 years with 3% ($150,000) annual interest totaling $450,000.

3. Warranty of the hardware (CCTV) and system is 10 years.

4. I can authoritatively confirm that it is the Ministry of Local government. It is odd that this Ministry will be in charge of CCTV installation given that internal security is under Interior.

Minister Lamin Ndambou Dibba is said to be in a hurry for the contract to be sealed. “From what I gathered the minister is rushing and is hardly interested in the quality of the government lawyers scrutiny of the contract terms etc but rather is more interested in getting the deal signed good or bad,” said our source.

“The state employed lawyers are severely lacking experienced negotiators and unless they start fishing such expertise from other sources, they will overburden us with huge and costly contractual obligations which offer very little or no value to the taxpayer,” our source warned.

Lands Minister Lamin Ndambou Dibba was contacted for comment, but his cellular phone went on voice mail.

It would be recalled that Minister Dibba recently visited the Netherlands (Holland), where he was received by some supporters of the new government. It was reported during the meeting he had with the diasporan community that he was seen by Dutch doctors during his short trip. A remark was made by one of the people at the meeting that the Barrow government should consider allowing Mr. Dibba to seek further medical treatment overseas.   

In his speech during that meeting Mr. Dibba said the coalition government will promote national reconciliation and unity. He accuses Jammeh of oppressing Gambians for over two decades.

Mr. Dibba was jailed together with his party leader Ousainou Darboe and co. He spoke about the democratic freedoms Gambians used to enjoy under Jawara’s rule. He said under the new dispensation, Gambians will enjoy similar freedoms. He said the respect for the rule of law would be guaranteed under Barrow’s government.  

Written By A Staff Writer 

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