By: Kebba AF Touray
The Gambia Civil Aviation Authority (GCAA) has yesterday appeared before the Public Enterprises Committee (PEC) of the National Assembly, for the presentation of the authority’s 2017 Activity Reports and Financial Statements.
The engagement was meant to assess how the aviation authority is executing its management, financial responsibilities, as well as highlight its challenges.
Catherine Nying, Deputy Director General, said the Gambia Civil Aviation Authority, came into being as an autonomous entity in 1991, through the Public Enterprise Act of 1989, with a tripartite mandate to regulate air transport in the Gambia, provide air navigation services and operate Banjul International Airport.
“During the year under review, the overall number of staffs employed was 711 compared to 673 in 2016. The rise in number of 38 staff was due to the recruitment of new personnel to fill vacant positions within the Airport Rescue and Fire Fighting Service (ARFFS)”, she noted.
She added “there was a total of 324,499 passengers in 2017 for Regional and European traffic, leading to an increase of 14.5 percent in 2017 compared to 3.9 percent in 2016. 38 agencies were issued with travel agency licence, amongst them 28 renewals and 10 initial issues”.
Nying continued, “on Freight and Cargo there was a total of 1394.8 tons in 2017 compared to 1744.1 in 2016,” this she said “shows a decrease of 349.3 tons or 20 percent on the 2016 figures”.
Fatou Ceesay Trawally, Finance Director, said the authority has witnessed a decrease in assets from D4,249,765,000 in 2016 to D4,187,976,000 and a decrease in its total equity and liabilities from D4,249,765 in 2016 to D4,187,976 with a cash flow from operating activities from D140,584,000 in 2016 to D203,833,000.
“The net financing cost has increased for D36,226 in 2016 to D38,182, whereas the non-current liabilities rose in from D887,052 in 2016 to D953,191 in 2017 and the current liabilities rose slightly form D506,906 in 2016 to D507,228 in 2017”, she said.
According to the GPPA Compliance Report, the GCAA was found 80 percent which denotes mainly compliant.
Halifa Sallah earlier told the Aviation Officials that the 1997 Constitution makes it obligatory for the public enterprise to be directly accountable to the National Assembly, and as well empowers the National Assembly to establish the Public Enterprise Committee, to receive the activity reports and financial statements and review them on an annual basis.
Sallah continued, “it also empowers the Committee to extend the period for the presentation of the reports and when we commenced work, we discovered a backlog and we had to take action, to be able to put an end to them”.
The objective of the exercise is to give growth to the monies given to the management to ensure that they fit the purpose. He said they will look at the challenges raised by the management with a view to providing remedies.
Sittings continue today 30th May 2019 at the Legislative House at 11:00 am.