By Yankuba Jallow
The President of the Republic, Mr. Adama Barrow, on Friday 29th September 2017, visited Kotu Power Station to acquaint himself with ongoing projects that the national Utility Company has embarked upon to stabilise the country’s perennial electricity crisis. It was just on the 22nd September 2017, that the Deputy Managing Director of NAWEC, Mr. Nani Juwara, admitted in a press briefing with journalist, the dire situation the Utility Company is going through.
Wearing a protective helmet with ear pieces, the President took a conducted tour of the premises of the power station with some Cabinet Ministers, Heads of Security Forces, NAWEC Chiefs and staff members, other members of the president’s delegation including the press, to see the generators. The Ministers accompanying the president included Honourables Omar Jallow, Hamat N.K. Bah, Demba A. Jallow and Fafa Sanyang, whilst the Chief of Defence Staff and the Inspector General of Police were also present.
Speaking to the press after completing a guided tour of the premises, President Barrow asserted that Utility problems (electricity and water) in the country, will be remedied by his government and there will be consistent power supply in 2 years’ time. “The public, like my government, is very concerned about utility issues of the country because for over 50 years, the problems of electricity could not be solved and now we are here to solve it,” he said. President Barrow said he still stands by his promise to the Gambian people during the presidential campaign period and appealed that with their patience, the Utility problems will be solved in 2 years’ time.
NAWEC has faced public criticism recently because of the company’s failure to meet the expectations of the people in terms of utility supply. Mr. Nani Juwara on behalf of NAWEC admitted that the demand for their company’s services far exceeds what the company can supply and that NAWEC does not have reserve generators on standby to pump additional power into the system during maintenance periods; that once a generator is serviced and starts operation, it continues operation until it is next due for service or unless something happens.