|Edward Graham, MD - SSHFC|
We have been critical of SSHFC in the past because of the risky investments it has been engaged in at the urging of the Gambian dictator who has financial interests in them, including the public transport sector, putting the Pension Fund at risk at the detriment of the thousands of private sector pensioners. We have warned that such exposure that the Managing Director is subjecting the corporation that threatens both the organization and the economy as a whole.
The finances of SSHFC are reported to have been dwindled to D 100 million from D 600 million. It is also being reported that the Office of he President - read Yaya Jammeh - is withdrawing about D 5 million per month. The assault on the finances of this public corporation by Jammeh and his cronies appears to have intensified now that the Gambia Ports Authority, GAMTEL and NAWEC are financially insolvent, thanks to a level of corruption never seen before.
You will recall that the two ferries - 'Kansala' and 'Aljamdu' - where purchased from a Greek company named Gallia Holdings Ltd that was in a joint venture deal with Yaya Jammeh. Curiously, the company is registered in the Marshall Islands, an offshore business destination. The deal went sour when the two ferries arrived amidst a huge fanfare only to be deemed being of the wrong design. Consequently, they have since been moored at the Banjul port awaiting possible legal litigation.
Sources close to the regime are accusing Jammeh of working with foreign banks to siphon off Social Security funds/bonds days before they mature which has accrued losses to the corporation that runs into the millions of dollars. The timing of the withdrawals by Jammeh is determined by information provided to him by insiders strategically planted in commercial banks with details of SSHFC investments portfolio. Staff of the State House are then instructed to withdraw funds from the corporation's accounts abroad.
When we say that what we have in Banjul is a criminal syndicate headed by Jammeh who uses civil servants to act criminally, we are not engaging in a smear campaign or hyperbole but calling it as it is. Every effort must, therefore, be made to get rid of the cancer in Gambia's body politic that is metastasizing.