From Anthony Nwachukwu, Lagos
Indigenous multinational, SIFAX Group, has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with the Government of Gambia to build and operate a multi-million dollar dry port in the country’s capital, Banjul, as part of plans to decongest the Port of Banjul.
The public-private partnership business model agreement was signed on behalf of SIFAX Group by the Group Managing Director, Mr. John Jenkins, while the Managing Director, Gambia Ports Authority (GPA), Mr. Abdoulie Tambedou, signed on behalf of the country.
The SIFAX delegation, which also included the Group Executive Vice Chairman, Dr. Taiwo Afolabi, and General Manager, Business Development and Strategic Planning, Mr. Saheed Lasisi, met afterwards with the Gambian President, Mr. Adama Barrow, and explored extensively the prospects of extending the company’s investment plan to other sectors of Gambia’s economy.
President Barrow thanked the company for choosing Gambia for its investment foray, stating that the country needed a lot of investments, both local and foreign, to grow its economy. He promised to provide the enabling environment for SIFAX and other foreign investors to thrive.
Thanking Barrow for the investment opportunity, Afolabi assured of the company’s willingness to open up the Gambian economy beyond a world-class inland container terminal to investing in other sectors that will help the country grow and compete favourably with peers in the continent and beyond.
“SIFAX Group believes in making Africa the focus of its investment hub. We are of the view that Africans stand a better chance to sincerely develop and tap the array of business and growth opportunities that abound in the continent,” a statement by the Corporate Affairs Manager, Mr. Muyiwa Akande, cited Afolabi to say.
“We have been doing this in some West African countries and are sincerely grateful to the president for opening the doors of The Gambia to us. Our promise is that the country’s economy will feel our impact as we don’t intend to limit our interventions to the maritime sector. We have identified other areas we will be willing to invest in the nearest future.”
On his part, Jenkins assured that the company would rely heavily on its 30-year-old business experience in various sectors and countries to turn around the fortunes of the country’s maritime sector, adding: “We are delighted as a company to begin this journey of investing in The Gambia”.