GOV’T REVEALS PLAN FOR NEW AIRPORT MANAGEMENT COMPANY

GOV’T REVEALS PLAN FOR NEW AIRPORT MANAGEMENT COMPANY

In his 2024 budget speech delivered at the National Assembly Friday, Finance Minister Seedy Keita has revealed that government is set to embark on a series of reforms to make the aviation sector more “efficient and viable” with plans to enter into a public private partnership in the operations and management of the Banjul airport.

He said the process to decouple the airport from being managed and operated by aviation regulator Gambia Civil Aviation Authority is ongoing. This, according to him, involves the separation of regulatory and service provision functions in the industry in line with international standards and recommended practices.

“The decoupling process is ongoing and will culminate in the establishment of a new Airport Company and a Civil Aviation Authority which will focus only on regulatory oversight. In addition, the government plans to enter into a Public Private Partnership in the operations and management of the Banjul International Airport. It is envisaged that such reforms will enhance the performance of the aviation industry and its contributions to the development of the country,” Minister Keita told deputies.

The minister said the current limited fiscal space has pushed the government to explore new financing strategies to meet the funding needs of the new National Development Plan 2023-2027 and three financing mechanisms have been proposed in this regard.

These include the development of a domestic revenue mobilisation strategy, utilisation of innovative financing mechanisms for critical development projects and the utilisation of concessional funds to attract private capital-blended finance.

 “Under constrained fiscal situations characterized by high risk of debt distress and challenges imposed by tightened global financial conditions and increasing cost of capital and debt servicing, financing the Plan [new NDP] would require complementing government and concessional resources with greater private sector investment in the country,” he said.

Source: The Standard

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