By Mamadou Dem
Commission Counsel Amie Bensouda, yesterday asked Mr. Amat S Cham, the Finance Director of NAWEC, to avail the ‘Janneh’ Commission with the audited financial report of the Company starting from 2010 to date.
Mrs. Bensouda made the application yesterday, when Mr. Cham was continuing with his evidence on matters relating to the Company among other matters.
In his testimony, Cham dwelt on the composition of the liabilities of NAWEC, noting that there was a capacity charge which was supposed to cover the cost of investment. According to him, they had been receiving invoices from Global Trading Group until when they were asked by the office of the former president to stop paying for the capacity charge.
He however said he did not know the reason why they stopped them from paying the capacity charge which he said was dated May 21 2010; that the Managing Director of NAWEC also wrote to the office of the former president for confirmation.
Mr. Cham adduced that they did not receive a letter from the Ministry of Finance dated 18 November, 2014 that was sent to Global Trading Group indicating that the sum of $10.8million capacity charge should not be paid; that there was a letter dated 18 December 2014, written by the Ministry of Energy to the Secretary General who did not respond.
At this juncture, a letter dated 15 September 2015, was shown to him, in which the Ministries of Energy and Finance were asking for a capacity charge. In response, he said he was not aware of the said letter, but noted that it was signed by the Minister of Energy and Finance.
Commissioner Abiosse George put it to him that NAWEC reconciled with Euro Africa Group before the bond was signed, and he answered that there was a directive that they should not pay for the capacity charge; that they also got a letter from the office of the former president indicating that they should pay the liabilities.
At that juncture, Commissioner Saine interjected and asked him the basis for which NAWEC asked not to pay the capacity charge. He responded that he did not know, and that there was no correspondence as to why the capacity charge was stopped, but that invoices kept coming; that none of the cost of discount was part of the bond and that NAWEC was supposed to pay all liabilities to Global Trading Group before the agreement was signed.
Again, Counsel Bensouda asked Cham about the total cost of the discount of cheque. In response, he told the Commission that they would do the calculation; that according to the documents, he found out that Global Trading Group was interested for NAWEC to discount the cheques. He further testified that he was not aware of the extension of fuel supply by Euro Africa Group after the expiration of the agreement in 2012.
It was put to him by Counsel Bensouda, that there was a 17% mark for a construction of a plant, which was not built. In response, Cham said he was not part of the arrangement; that he was hearing about it from the Commission. Cham told the commission that the cost of the plant was not captured in the books of NAWEC, noting that the monies left in the account, was to buy fuel among other expenses.
Commissioner Saine then asked him why GNPC continued supplying fuel to NAWEC. In response, Cham said they should check the records; that NAWEC paid GT Bank 50% discount. Asked why the office of the former president was intervening, he responded that the office was overseeing NAWEC.
At that point, documents relating to some correspondences and other relevant documents, were tendered and admitted as exhibits.
Counsel Bensouda asked him to find out the total cost NAWEC paid for capacity charge starting from 2005 to date. Mr. Charm however responded that he did the total calculation, but was not in a position to tell the Commission the total figure at that point.
Hearing continues today.