Wednesday, June 22, 2016

Was NAWEC forced to buy Brikama power station from Muhammed Bazzi?

On the 10th of December 2014,  we asked the question whether NAWEC was forced to buy the Brikama Power Station from Muhammed Bazzi, a man who is, for all intents and purposes co-President of the Republic of The Gambia.

We have come to discover that the plant was a BOT project and thus the transfer which we stumbled into during the 2014 budget process following the revelation by the then Finance Minister that he was planning to spend 2.5% of GDP (estimated at D 783 million or approx. $ 31.3 million ).  The regime had to borrow locally to pay Muhammed Bazzi for the Brikama plant.

Is it worth the price considering that the plant was operated by Bazzi for, at least 5 years.  We do not think so.  We believe the Gambian people have been scammed and continue to be exploited by a handful of Lebanese - not Gambian Lebanese - and local Gambian partners of Yaya Jammeh that includes but not limited to Amadou Samba.

The Mandinary Fuel Depot is another facility that has been used, and continues to be used by Yaya Jammeh and the same usual suspects to exploit a poor country like The Gambia.  As we get figures and more information, it is becoming increasingly evident that the facility is being used to fleece Gambian taxpayers by a handful of the usual suspects.

We promise our readership that we will be delving into these and related issues that have resulted in the massive arrests and interrogation of staff ad board member of the petroleum sector.

Below is our Decemver 10th 2014 blog on the Brikama plant.

In what appears to have been a leaked Cabinet Paper (CP) of the Minister of Finance, Kebba S. Touray, laying out the outline of his 2015 Budget Estimates, several stunning revelations and admissions were made to his cabinet colleagues.

The CP's preamble warns of the impending hardship that Gambians should expect in 2015 because of the rapidly deteriorating fiscal condition resulting from imprudent fiscal and monetary management of the economy.

The deficit which was projected to be in the region of 4.5% of GDP is now projected over twice that to 10% of GDP, forcing the Finance Minister to admit to both the Joint National Assembly Members last week, and now his cabinet colleagues that "2015 is not going to be easy."

Despite numerous warnings by the International Monetary Fund (IMF) of the devastating effects a ballooning deficit will have on the overall performance of the economy, the regime of Jammeh has proven unable to control spending most of which are of the frivolous kind that contributes nothing to economic growth.

The latest explanation of the ballooning deficit is what the Minister described as "spending on NAWEC's behalf" equivalent to 2.5% of GDP which we estimate to be in the region of GMD 783 million.  What was the amount for?  It now appears that NAWEC was forced to buy the Brikama plant from Mohamed Bazzi, Jammeh's business partner.

We look forward to the Minister's  Budget Statement in the next few days to see if further details are provided to Gambians about this particular expenditure, the rationale for the sale and terms and conditions of the sale.