By Mamadou Dem
Mr. Ebrima Sanyang, former Managing Director of NAWEC, yesterday appeared before the ‘Janneh’ Commission in connection to NAWEC’s contracts and related matters.
According to Sanyang, he is currently doing some consultancy and installation works for people who need his services; that he was the Managing Director of NAWEC and had worked there for 23 years, from January 1994 to 6th March, 2017.
Sanyang testified that in 2008, he was the transmission and distribution manager and installations manager in 2009; that in 2010, he was appointed Deputy Managing Director, while on 30th October 2011, he became Managing Director of the Company.
Sanyang informed the Commission that in 2011, they had both Kotu Power Station and the Power Plant at Brikama in place and among the generators at these two facilities, he said were Gen. No 6, 3, 9, 2 etc; that at the Brikama Power Plant, four sets were functional but the SSHFC generators were not functioning until 2013, noting that at the time, the Heavy Fuel Oil (HFO) supply contract was with Global Trading Group (GTG).
He said the Global Management System’s contract expired and was not renewed, further stating that the Rural Electrification Project was among the projects he found at NAWEC. He confirmed to the Commission that he signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) on 15th July 2012, for the extension of HFO contract, which contract expired in 2007.
According to him, the same terms and conditions were applied at the time of extending the said contract; that the 3% and 17% mark-ups, were to be observed in 2004 and 2007 contracts respectively.
Sanyang revealed that when the HFO contract expired in 2007, they wrote to the office of the former president informing them about the expiry of the contracts, due to the fact that the contract awarded was exclusive; that there were efforts to get HFO from Mauritania; that hence there was a bilateral relation to do that but were later told that Mauritania was not refining fuel; that at a meeting, the issue of GNPC supplying NAWEC with fuel was raised; that GNPC should be given time to raise funds to enable them import fuel; that it was because of this that they were asked to continue with the contract with GNPC.
Sanyang further disclosed that the former Commissioner of Petroleum Fafa Sanyang, and other personalities, attended the meeting; that they later stopped the supply from GNPC because there were serious issues on specification.
However, when asked who the Minister was at the time, Sanyang said he could not remember; that over the years, Euro Africa Group and Gam Petroleum, were granted exclusivity for the importation of fuel.
According to him, immediately after the MOU expired, they went into an intensive engagement with GTG and the moment they were engaged on the MOU, they discussed on the price; that Muhamed Bazzi was not present at the negotiating table. Sanyang said during the negotiation, it was difficult between the two parties but later the supplier GTG, reduced the price from 17% to 10% as well as from $52 to $49.
Sanyang further told Commissioners that they did not extend the 2015 contract and went through tender; that GTG was among the bidders; that when they signed a contract with GNPC, the terms and conditions included transportation cost and storage; that when they started the contract, they wanted to bring the margin to 17% but that NAWEC officials intimated to them that they could not sign such because the HFO contract had been going on for many years and the prices were fixed. Sanyang added that they had directives to reduce the price and that they negotiated with Fadi Mazegi.
The witness revealed that they also entered into negotiation for the extension of the IPP and that there was an MOU to that effect; that there was an original document regarding the operation of the IPP. He said that was why they thought it was fitting to have an MOU in place.
Still testifying, Sanyang disclosed that while negotiations on the IPP was ongoing, the issue of NAWEC settling its liabilities and to take over the power plant arose; that the executive who promised to settle SSHFC generators that were almost ready, were informed that the matter had not been resolved.
He said they wrote to the office of the former president informing them that Global Electrical Group (GEG) was still insisting for the payment of the liabilities. He however said they were invited at the office of the former president were they were told to take over the power plant, by Mr. Momodou Sabally, the former Secretary General.
According to him, Bazzi was present at the meeting and was furious about what NAWEC was told; that the extension of the IPP power plant was part of the contract, and that once the IPP was over, NAWEC would take over.
He said when he was appointed MD, what he found was the IPP power plant and there were instructions; that there was a capacity charge of $10,000,000 which was settled. He said the idea for the bond was to settle the liabilities and it came from the Ministry of Finance.
Sanyang indicated that once the bond was instituted, the liabilities were not paid and GEG wrote back and made their position clear, regarding the two-year payment deferral on the capacity charge; but that NAWEC maintained their position, insisting that they could not pay the capacity without prior approval from the office of the former president.
He adduced that there was a meeting for the Ministry of Energy to find out whether there was a capacity charge to be paid, noting that the former Secretary General copied a letter to GEG, regarding the capacity charge.
According to him, when he was confronted by the former Minister of Energy Sarja Sanneh, he (Sanyang) told him that all the procedures and processes of the bond were handled by the Ministry of Finance; that he advised him to consult the Ministry and further went on to notify the Minister on the discussions he had with Sanneh.
With regard to the capacity charge, he said when he assumed as MD, he asked about the genesis of the capacity charge and further find out whether there were any correspondences to that effect, but he could not find any.
He said nobody could substantiate the issue of the capacity charge; that the late Mr. Ndure would have been in a better position to explain about the capacity charge; that the office of the former president wrote to NAWEC to issue post-dated discount cheques to the tune of D150,000,000; that once the discount was done, they consulted the office of the former president.
Fadi Mazegi reappeared in connection to MYJ account, where $612,000 was paid from the AU summit account and NAWEC’s contracts respectively.
Hearings continue today.