Monday, June 17, 2024

Ferry-Go-Around

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OPINION

By: Momodou Ndow

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In August of 2021, GFS (Gambia Ferry Service) announced plans to spend 30 million euros for the refurbishment of the ferries.

“The ferry management has signed a business deal with a Schottel, Germany Company. It (GFS) has ordered three new caterpillar marine engines worth €11.9 million for the Johe and Kunta Kinteh ferries; two schottel pump jets worth €11.2 million for the Johe Ferry and two new rudder propellers worth €7.4 million for Kanilai Ferry.”

In January of last year, I wrote an article after doing a little research to show how many new ferries 30 million euros can buy us. It turned out to be five. Why refurbish old junk when you can get something new and fresh with a better capacity?

GFS responded defensively a few days later. They claimed that the journalist had made a mistake and that the amount was in Dalasis rather than in euros. I guess nobody at GFS paid attention to the news about them spending 30 million euros instead of Dalasis till I wrote my article five months later. Such boloney!

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In any case, let’s just go with GFS’s claim of spending D30 million instead of €30 million. The ferries were refurbished last year, but they are now junk again in such a short period of time, despite the D30 million spent on refurbishment. That’s basically the case here. Either GFS lied about its expenses, or it got ripped off by the German company with which it signed the deal.

Accounting to Yaya Menteng, a member of parliament, he was stuck in one of the ferries for five hours. He was fearful of drowning and was frantically looking around for a rescue team. Belie Yaya mor huta rek! A few hours later, the ferry sent to rescue them was also stuck. Chei! So, 30 million Dalasis howma 30 million Euros bi yepp dafa menteng meless nee rek? Paski the ferries are still junk morm!

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