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.]]>

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