By MUHAMMED S. BAH
The Minister of Finance, Amadaou Sanneh, has disclosed to the parliamentarians that the state owns fifteen enterprises. Mr. Sanneh said this during the question and answer session with deputies, at the National Assembly on Wednesday, 26 July 2017.
Responding to a question raised by Hon. Halifa Sallah, member for Serrekunda, on the number of public enterprises established by Government and whether they owe debts or are paying dividends to government and how Much, the Minister of Finance said a reconciliation exercise was conducted between his ministry and some State Own Enterprises (STOEs) as at end of December 2014.
“The reconcile amount was in the tune of D1.2 billion in favor of Government” Mr. Sanneh said. He added that Payment Plans were agreed and some of the STOEs namely Gamtel, Gamcel and GPA, are honouring the agreement. He further added that at the period of reconciliation, NAWEC as an institution owed government approximately D1.4 billion. The Minister of Finance further told Law Makers that another reconciliation exercise will be done this year for the Period ending Dec 2016. Mr. Sanneh pointed out that some STOEs owe significant amounts to suppliers and contractors.
“NAWEC currently has a debt of D9 billion,” Finance Minister Sanneh disclosed.
He added that only GPA is paying dividend to government, further stating that the last payment was to the tune of D1.5m, for the period ending 2015.
Hon. Halifa Sallah further stated that according to Section 160 of the constitution: ‘‘Pension shall be subjected to review to take into account, relevant salary cases’’. The Honorable member for Serrekunda further told the Minister to state the current pension entitlement for each category of pensions and further asked whether government will review and upgrade pension entitlements.
In response, the Minister said the matter should be referred to the Personnel Management office, Office of the President, which he said has the competent authority to provide the appropriate response.
“I do however, see the need to review pension laws and regulations and especially, to introduce a contributory pension scheme in the country,” the finance minister said.