By Mamadou Dem

Mr. Amat S. Cham, the Finance Director of the National Water and Electricity Company (NAWEC), yesterday appeared before the ‘Janneh’ Commission to answer to questions regarding NAWEC’s bond.

Cham in his testimony said he started working at NAWEC as Finance Director since 2015; that they had the Gunjur Water supply and Kotu ring; that they had three contractors working on these projects.

Mr. Cham told the Commission that in 2014, NAWEC had a debt of $64.2 million; that the Company owed Euro Africa Group the sum of $62,212,287.89. He further told the Commission that they owed some money to ECOBANK, BSIC Bank, Guaranty Trust Bank, Trust Bank and ACCESS Bank, stating that the total sum owed to commercial Banks amounts to D347, 523,966.

He further adduced that they had several meetings to settle the debts, noting that it was also realized that Euro Africa Group owed some commercial Banks. He disclosed that they were to restructure the debts between Euro Africa Group and the commercial Banks, revealing that the Central Bank was the facilitator in this arrangement.

Mr. Cham told the Commission that he attended two meetings; that the Central Bank wrote to NAWEC about the exchange rate to be applied with a balance of D24,000,000 after the offset. He narrated that ECOBANK, BSIC, GTBANK and Trust Bank Limited, were the parties to the bond which was guaranteed by the Central Bank.

He further stated that Euro Africa Group owed D1, 798,717,533 to the commercial banks; that the same company owed D340, 000,000 to Standard Chartered Bank. He testified that the Ministry of Finance wrote a letter dated the 28th April 2015; that they had settled a debt amounting to $24,188,951.05, owed by Euro Africa Group to Total Company; that this was deducted from the $26,000,000 that NAWEC owed to Euro Africa Group.

He further stated that the total debt they owed the Banks was D2, 156,250,500, stating further that energy charge was $28,909,827.32 and a capacity charge of $10,824,000.

At this juncture, documents relating to the bonds issued by NAWEC to Commercial Banks and other relevant documents, were tendered and admitted as exhibits.

Mr. Mustapha Corr, former NAWEC official, also testified on Skype in relation to Gamtel and NAWEC contracts.

Sitting continues today.

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