Sunday, August 18, 2019

AT THE ‘JANNEH’ COMMISSION: NAWEC Directors Scolded On Multi-Billion Dalasi Debt


By Kebba Jeffang

The Managing and Finance Directors of the National Water and Electricity Company (NAWEC), Baba Fatajo and Amat Cham respectively, were pressed at Wednesday’s sitting of the ‘Janneh’ Commission, to give account on how the Company defaulted on a multi- billion debt.

NAWEC boss has casted blame on former government for interfering in corporation’s affairs.

However, he said the new government has taken the burden to repay D7.3 billion out of an outstanding 9.09 billion unpaid loans.

The two men who previously visited the financial inquirers also shed light on matters relating to company’s MoU and contracts.
Mr Fatajo indicated that the government has started paying the liabilities, loans and bonds of the corporation as part of the 75% contribution towards the settlement of the corporation’s debts.
He said he thought that NAWEC was not part of the instructions given to SSHFC rather it was an instruction from the ministry of finance and the government for the loan given to the company.
He recalled that SSHFC had filed a legal suit against NAWEC for the loans given to NAWEC. The case he said, was dismissed by the court on the ground that NAWEC was not part of the agreement.
However, he also acknowledged that NAWEC has owed Global Trading Group a lot of monies with regards to the contracts signed between them.
Fatajo testified that there was reconciliation for the bonds between NAWEC and the commercial banks as well as the debt owed to GTG.
He informed that NAWEC has hired a service contractor to restructure the corporation in order to make it more viable for investment. He said this move will enable them to have separate utility company for the supply of energy and water.
He decried more liabilities from Annex two indicating that the loans that are related to investment in Greater Banjul Area are in their books. He said the Rural Electrification and Water Sewage Project loans were taken over by the ministry of finance.
He said they are still working out modalities while government is paying the liabilities of NAWEC.
Further adducing, he said the sum of D239, 000,000 which was ITFC loan was paid by SSHFC under the directives of either the office of the former president or ministry of finance. He said ITFC has extended facility loans to the government.
At this juncture, counsel Amie Bensouda enquired from finance director on how the loan of D235,000,000 was incurred as indicated in the MoU.

Cham in response confirmed the sum and said it was owed to SSHFC. He said loan was captured in their records, rather it was captured as Gambia government not as SSHFC. He said this is because the government authorised SSHFC to pay loans owed by NAWEC.

Cham testified that there was a sum of $50,000,000 reconciliation between NAWEC and GTG for heavy fuel which was paid by SSHFC.

Documents relating to NAWEC’s contracts were admitted as exhibits.

Sitting continues on Monday.

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