By Kebba Secka
NAWEC’s management and board of directors were yesterday given more time to submit their activity and financial reports for the pending years 2017 and 2018 respectively after an appeal to the Public Enterprises Committee.
They were engaged by this committee of the National Assembly in fulfillment of Section 175 (5) of the Constitution which requires public institutions to appear before the National Assembly three months before the end of the fiscal year to present their annual report. NAWEC is the latest institution to face the National Assembly’s Public Enterprises Committee (PEC).
The Chairperson of the PEC Honourable Halifa Sallah welcomed the company’s board of directors and management and briefed them about the oversight functions of his committee which aims at diagnosing possibilities of better service delivery. He said his committee and NAWEC had a contract to be fulfilled and this can be achieved through NAWEC presenting their reports and they scrutinizing them and making recommendations for improvements.
In response to the PEC Chairman’s statement, NAWEC’s new Managing Director, Mr Alpha Robinson said they have appeared without the 2017 and 2018 reports ready for the committee to scrutinize. He explained that he was recently appointed as M.D. and found at the institution a lot of mismanagement and he would need time to fix it. As to why the institution’s 2017 and 2018 financial and activities reports were not presented, M.D. Alpha, placed the blame on the Auditor General’s delay in completing their work for the years due for submission before the members. He assured the committee that by the 31st November, 2019, the financial and activity reports for 2017 will be presented before the committee for consideration.
“We assure you that by the end of 31st November, 2019, we’ll be done with the 2017 reports for presentation and consideration,” NAWEC’s Director told PEC.
He also assured them that the 2018, activity and financial reports will be submitted in early 2020.
Mr Crispin Grey Johnson, vice Chairperson of the NAWEC’s Board mentioned some of the challenges of the board, which include insecurity of tenure of office and the frequent formation of new boards.
Following their verbal explanation of their constraints, the committee made consultation among themselves and decided that the management and board put the facts that are revealed before the committee in writing as it will enable them to identify the problems and provide assistance. The committee also accepted the company’s proposal of extension of time for the submission of the reports of the year ended 31st December, 2017 by the end of next month (31st November, 2019) and early 2020 for the 2018 reports.
Chairperson Sallah noted that by virtue of Section 175 (2) of the Constitution, board of directors are appointed by the president after he makes consultations with the Public Service Commission (PSC), but pointed out that frequent changes of the Board will not be taken as an excuse while urging them to regularize their house before appearing before them next time.
“NAWEC has failed to adhere to the laws and as an oversight body, we cannot avoid the law. We cannot continue with this trend and it has to stop,” PEC Chairman told NAWEC’s management and board members.
He urged them to gather all their challenges and strategise mechanism to be used to overcome the challenges so that his committee can depend on those facts and guide them where needed.