President Barrow with President Sall

Presidents Adama Barrow and Macky Sall have Tuesday used the platform of their joint press conference to clear the air regarding the energy deal between the two countries.

Senegal’s electricity company SENELEC is
exporting power to NAWEC under an agreement that has been criticised
for being a ‘bad deal’ for the Gambia.

“Senegal has an energy surplus. That is why we decided to partner with them for the supply of electricity to the Gambia,” President Adama Barrow told reporters during the news conference held at Kairaba Beach Hotel, Kololi.

The three-day Presidential Council meeting between Senegal and the Gambia with a renewed commitment of both leaders to take bilateral cooperation  to unprecedented levels. Six major agreements have been signed in a bid to strenghten ties between the two countries.

Barrow seized the opportunity to make it clear that the Gambia is a sovereign state.

”This is a temporal measure geared towards helping the Gambia to stabilise its energy sector,” he said.

He went further to say that the Gambia has a already got a road map for the energy sector and the NAWEC-SENELEC deal is a short and medium term project.

His Senegalese counterpart, Macky Sall allayed fears about a possible ‘bad deal’ for NAWEC.

He said he cannot imagine endorsing commercial and economic deals that are disadvantageous for Gambia.

“What we did was based on mutual respect,” he said.

As some parts of the country are now enjoying electricity 24/7, the joint communique endorsed by the two heads of states called for SENELEC “to provide the adfitionnal 1 MW from Karang power station to supply Amdalai-Barra area by April 2018.”

Meanwhile, Gambia’s organic intellectual Madi Jobarteh has raised the alarm bell over NAWEC-SENELEC deal, saying the agreement requires to be negotiated with the best interest of the Gambia.

“Therefore the terms of the agreement for energy supply from Senegal must be reviewed to determine how beneficial or detrimental it is to the Gambia,” he said in an opinion pièce widely shared on social media

The Executive Secretary of the Senegalo-Gambian Secretariat Ambassador Paul Badjie, who spoke to this reporter, said the agreement has been signed between two countries that are very close.

“They did it without even thinking about the cost. It is not disadvantageous for NAWEC as SENELEC is not making any profit in the
deal,” he added.

Written by Abdoulie JOHN