By Dawda Baldeh
Addressing Banjulians (residents of Banjul) in a town hall meeting on Saturday 12 March 2022, Mayor of Banjul City Council (BCC) Rohey Malick Lowe said 72% of house or compound owners in Banjul are not paying rates to the council, citing revenue loss.
The town hall meeting is said to be in line with 2002 Local Government Act which mandates the mayor to organize such a meeting to give people the opportunity to know the functions and operations of the Council and ask questions surrounding such.
Mayor Lowe emphasized that lack of rates payment to the council remains their key challenge.
“72% of compound owners in Banjul are not paying rates. As a result of this, the council has lost over Seven Million Dalasis since 2018,” Mayor Rohey Malick Lowe disclosed.
He added that apart from the unpaid Seven Million Dalasis rates, tthere were over 40 Million Dalasis of unpaid debts from compound heads when she assumed office in 2018.
She noted that slow bureaucracy in decision making is another challenge, adding that in most decisions council has to write to the Ministry of Local Government and wait for response.
“Also, councils rely on parliamentarians for the promulgation of good laws that enhance our work. Council seeks to work closely with MPs for the implementation of good laws that will ensure council’s autonomy and strengthen our power for the implementation of developmental oriented policies and programs that will help the city,” she explained.
She also cited the building of stores within the inner city, the sand mining at the Denton Bridge and the buildings on the Tanbi wetland among others.
She urged residents of Banjul to voluntarily pay their debts to help in the development of the city; highlighting other challenges that hinders the development of the city.