The firing of the Central Bank Governor Amadou Colley, deputy Governors, Basiru Njai and Oumie Savage-Samba and bank’s Director of Finance Ousainou Corr, is long overdue considering these officials’ overseeing of an institution where a mere note from Yahya Jammeh’s buddies or protocol officers would make it possible to withdraw millions of dollars and billions of Dalasis without qualms or eyebrows being raised. What is the use of a gatekeeper who allows unwelcomedguests to enter and get away with the loot? What can these banking officials tell us about serving their nation and its people when they actually served no one’s interest but Jammeh’s? Since they allowed themselves to be used and soiled by Jammeh to the point of looting our country’s foreign reserves, nothing will redeem their reputation. Let them not toe the road to redemption in the Gambia.
The billions of Dollars the government had lost under their stewardship is enough reason for them to be prosecuted and sent to jail. Just do the arithmetic with the figures below and see why these banking officials deserve what they get. Whether they have learnt their lesson is anyone’s guess but will not be forgiven for giving Jammeh’s carte blanche to empty our national coffers. These officials will forever live with the guilt, which is why no one should have mercy on Jammeh’s thievery enablers who betrayed the trust and confidence bestowed on them.
This summary report by Minister of Finance two months ago is a clear justification that these Central Bank officials must not be in control of a poultry farm, let alone Bankers Bank.
Evidently, Ali Baba and his gang of thieves mismanaged the economy and left Gambians with record debt of over D48 billion, net international reserves of only US$27.4 million or 0.7 months of import of goods and services. Their recklessness left the Central Bank of The Gambia to turn to commercial banks for short-term loans to service the fast sinking economy. This short-term loan stands US$32.7 million.
The Gambia Gateway Project is being managed by Gambia Telecommunications Company Ltd, GAMTEL LTD, on behalf of the Government of the Gambia. Incomes emanating from international incoming and outgoing traffic are generated through this gateway and initially used by Gamtel to offset its costs and loans. However, the management of the gateway was contracted to third parties over the years, Spectrum, System1, Tel. and MGl. Currently, the Government through Gamtel Ltd is having a 5 year contract with MGI from 2014 to 2019.
The incomes generated by this project were diverted from Gamtel to an account – International Gateway Account at the Central Bank of the Gambia from 13th September 2013 to 4th July 2014. This account had an accumulated deposit for this period of US$5,421,732.98 of which US$5,421,440.61 was withdrawn leaving a balance of only US$292.37.
On 10th July 2014, another account was opened called the Special Projects Fund. A total US$45,194,083.24 was deposited over the period and US$45,171,420.05 was withdrawn over the same period leaving a balance of only 110,630.42 as at 23rd January 2017.
A sample of the withdrawals include:
1517/14 Cash withdrawal of US$300,000 by Sana Jarjue, Office of the President.
23/7/14 Cash withdrawal of US$700,000 through Sana Jarjue, Office of the President.
23/7/14 Cash withdrawal of US$600,000 through Sana Jarjue, Office of the President.
11/8/14 Cash withdrawal of US$I,OOO,OOO Office of the President.
10/9/14 Cash withdrawal of US$I,OOO,OOO Office of the President.
25/3/15 Cash withdrawal ofUS$750,000 by Sana Jarjue, Office of the President.
Vll. 16/9/15 Cash withdrawal of US$400,000 through Sulayman Badgie, Office of the President.
V111. 16/9/15 Cash withdrawal of US$800,000 through Sulayman Badgie, Office of the President.
26/9/15 Cash withdrawal of US$500,000 through Sulayman Badgie, Office of the President.
14/11/16 Cash withdrawal of US$704,721.63 through Nuha Williams, Office of the President.
Xl. 16/9/15 Cash withdrawal of US$704,721.63 through Nuha Williams, Office of the President.
According to our preliminary findings, these amounts have been withdrawn in cash US dollars or Gambian dalasis withdrawn and US dollars bought in the foreign exchange market thus creating undue pressure on both our reserves and the exchange rates. These two accounts totaling US$50,615,816-22 in deposits of our international call terminating revenue have been withdrawn mainly in cash foreign currency and dalsis converted into foreign currency.
2.1 Carnegie Mining Project
The Gambia has not discovered huge mineral resources but Elminite has been discovered and mined over the years. Carnegie Mining Project account was opened at CBG from 24th January 2012 to 30th December 2015 receiving D139.423 million as deposits and D139.312 million as expenditure. This leaves a balance of only D 11 0,630 as at this date today.
This account was operated outside the Central Government budgetary system and not accounted for in the Consolidated Revenue Fund. The account has been managed by the Office of the President and Yaya Jammeh and all expenditures were done at his directive or will. A sample of these expenditures include:
Transfer to TBL in favour of EAGL for D30,969,140.
Cash foreign currency withdrawals of D3,833,000.
Cheque payment for D5,000,000
Cash Payments to Governors for cost of fishing boats D600,000
Donation/Support by Gambia Government of D21,635,000
From 30th December 2015 there was no deposit into this account and we are now investigating were the revenues due to the Government from the mining contract. The Government is paying for the services of lawyers retained for the legal case with Carnegie with retainer fees totaling D59.28 million to date and claims of monthly payments of £50,000 per month still running. The Attorney General and Minister of Justice will look into these payments and the legal issues with Carnegie with a view to bringing this bizarre drama indicative of the selfish interest of the Jammeh APRC regime.
We are verifying the current contract that exists between the Mining operators and a company said to have the mining rights – Alhamdulilahi Petroleum and Mineral Company. From our initial investigations of this company, there was no trace of its registration with the Registrar of Companies and the Attorney General and Minister of Justice is assisting us on this matter.
2.2 Social Security Housing and Finance Corporation (SSHFC)
The Jammeh APRC administration has dipped its long arm into worker’s pension funds through rampant “Executive Directives” to the management of SSHFC. A total of D2,094,891,000 was withdrawn by Executive Directives to a multitude of expenditures including:
D74.517 million for NA WEC generators; D547.588 million for loan repayments on behalf of NA WEC for ITFC and D74.662 million for interest charges for NAWEC;
D148.50 million (US$4.5 million) for aircraft purchase and D2.956 million for ferrying the aircraft; Another NA WEC generator acquisition amounting to D118.00 million was also made. Some repayments were received on this loan.
Cost of John Deree tractors ($2.018 million) amounting to D57.092 million.
Cash withdrawals of US$500,000 twice totalling US$I,OOO,OOO were made from the SSHFC through Executive Directives of Yaya AJJ Jammeh for expenditures uncounted for and undocumented.
All these expenditures were out of the ordinary worker’s accumulated pensions fund and out of a total of D2,094,891,000, the sum of D1.71 billion remains non-performing without any payment made to it.
Gambia Ports Authority
Our preliminary review of GPA found that the Authority made some questionable and wanon expenditure in its Business Development Expenses/Corporate Social Responsibilities account for 2015 and 2016:
GP A contribution towards Kanilai Alternative Medical Clinic, run by Yaya
AJJ Jammeh for D25,000.
Hiring of tents for Sukuta APRC branch for DDI 0,000.
Payment for 200 T-Shirts for APRC militants and BCC for D75,000.
50% Payment to Ministry of Basic and Secondary Education for 22nd July scholarship pageant for D250,000.
Payment of D300,000 for 22nd July 20th Celebration.
Honorarium to Volunteers at Dobong Farm DI08,000 on 10/09/2015 and another DI08,000 on 18112/2015.
V11. Printing of green T-Shirts for D255,750.
Vlll. Payment sponsoring of a table for D375,000 for APRC Peace and Love Gala dinner.
For the year 2016, GPA made the following expenditures out of its Business Development Expenses/Corporate Social Responsibilities account, the resources of the Gambian people:
Payment of its Business Development Expenses/Corporate Social Responsibilities account f D500,000 for Jammeh Foundation for Peace fundraising Gala Dinner on 20/112016.
And another D400,000 for platimum plus and sapphire table to APRC gala dinner.
Payment of T-Shirts amounting to D46,000 for July 22nd celebrations,
2016 Payment of 855 T-Shirts ecogroup for July 22nd celebrations, 2016.
Payment to security services of D60,000 for July 22nd celebrations, 2016.
Payment of D40,000 to APRC women rally at Jarra Soma 2016.
Payment of D356,000 for 200 polo T-Shirts and 1,300 T-Shirts for July 22nd celebrations.
VlI. Payment fo D 11 0,000 for 500 T-Shirts for July 22nd celebrations.
Vlll. Payment of 105,000 T-Shirts for July 22nd celebrations.
Payment of D21,000 for 100 T-Shirts for APRC Award ceremony.
Payment of D18,750 towards APRC Kiang West political rally.
In 2016, the investigations discovered with shock that the GP A bought a new vehicle budgeted at D3,000,000 for D7,527,392.16.
This is more than double the budget for this item.
These sample Public Enterprise accounts of SSHFC and Gamtel, The Carnegie mmmg project is a reflection of the gross mismanagement of our economy by Yaya AJJ Jammenh and his APRC Government. There conduct amounts to a total betrayal of the Gambian people leaving them with monstrous debts of D48.3 billion, net international reserves of only US$27.4 million or 0.7 months of import of goods and services. The Central Bank of The Gambia has short term borrowings (SWAPS) from commercial banks of US$32.7 million to enable it meet the Government’s loan repayment obligations.
These former enablers of Dictator Yaya Jammeh are guilty of economic and financial mismanagement, corruption, money laundering and counterfeiting. Yaya Jammeh had counterfeit machine at the basement of the statehouse which he used to print our currency and he would called a senior officer from the central bank to sign these counterfeit notes before circulation in the country. Abdou kolley was very aware of this problem. Many Gambian knew that Yaya jammeh printed our money for personal use . The current minister of finance should look into problem. Some of the bank notes in circulation are worthless piece of paper which were put in circulation by the dictator. So it wasn’t only stealing our money but Yaya counterfeited our money.
I think it’s not a fair assessment to call them enablers. Rather they are victims like the rest of us – just happen to be in the wrong place at the wrong time. Proof, they still have their heads fixed on their shoulders, unlike everyone else who were brutally murdered. Koro Ceesay comes to mine, but there were countless other non-enablers who lost their heads.
If you are suggesting that it was better for this poor gentleman to have had his head cut-off with a machete rather than keep it, his loved ones would say, you are wrong!
It is all Jammeh’s and every Gambian’s fault. Think of all those times when all and Sundry were calling Ousainou Darboe coward for not repeatedly protesting out on the streets, or something to that effect – but the man had a head on him, and knew exactly when it was worthwhile to protest, so even if he was in grave danger of losing it, at least he know when – and that trigger came with was Solo’s murder!
It’s no different with this poor gentleman – surely he has his own thresholds of tolerance, but that does not necessarily make him an Enabler, rather he was a victim of Jammeh, with the tacit connivance of all those who would vote him in power over the past 22 years, and 9 out of 10 that included people who now points the finger – partly I believe to absolve, or in an attempt to exorcise their own guilt.
When Darboe was imprisoned, I used to read in these, or other pages about how everyone had abandoned him, because he was perceived then as a loser who could no longer do anything for them. Ditto Amadou Sanneh, he had been forgotten to rot in in Jail for over three years, and not even a mention of his name, or a protest from anyone, including those who would now prostrate themselves at his alter!
Nobody hears much about Koro Ceesay, whose only crime was to defy Jammeh, by threatening to include his looting of the treasury in his annual report at Treasurer, or as Minister of Finance! This guy would have suffered the same fate from Jammeh with tacit approval of all his Gambian voters/enabler. Laying off this poor chap should be the first act of reconciliation which must entail everyone shedding of wrong headed thinking about each other for once, and to really do some hard thinking about what really happened to our poor country this past 23 years, and where to from here!
Ignorant of the law is no excuse. These greedy bankers enable the dictator to loot the country’s wealth daily without lifting a finger but they have the option to resign, retire or even find another job somewhere else. They should be brought before the courts to prove their innocence but to use the excuse of somebody was killed because he defied the dictator, therefore we will cooperate fully to loot the entire nation’s wealth entrusted to us without doing or saying anything is inexcusable. They have violated the trust and responsibilities of their duties as gatekeepers of the nation’s bank. Why do need them in those positions when they have shown us that they cannot be trusted?