The joint session of the Public Accounts and Enterprises Committees PAC/PEC of the National Assembly, yesterday, considered and adopted the Activity Report of The Gambia Telecommunications Cellular company Limited (Gamcel) at the Assembly House in Banjul.
"Gamcel was established as a subsidiary of Gamtel in the year 2000, to build and operate cellular services", asserted Mr. Baboucarr Sanyang, the MD of Gamtel/Gamcel.
According to his introductory remark, a study was conducted prior to the launching of the company which indicated a projection of a customer base of 15,000. He revealed that the commercial launch was extremely successful surpassing the projected target within six months. He further revealed that the company continued to embark upon network expansion projects in response to the increasing customer demand.
"As a result of the dissolution of the partnership between the government and Spectrum in 2008, it continued to be challenging for Gamcel for the fiscal year 2011", he asserted.
MD Sanyang revealed that the challenges facing the company were network expansion, deployment of value added services, capacity building and financial constraints. He unveiled that the company has scored a total revenue of D1.127 billion for the year. He said this represents an increase of D336 million dalasi representing 48 percent increment.
"The total cost of sales for the year amounted to D900 million and of this amount D522 million relate to free bonus given to customers", he disclosed.
However, the opinion of the external auditors asserted that the financial statements are presented fairly in all material respect and it has kept proper books of accounts. Although, the audit report indicates that the company currently does not have a board level committee to coordinate and supervise the internal audit department. It alerts an increased risk of widespread fraud where 'from the top' the internal controls are seen to be weak.
"Significantly, management could not provide us with complete listing of assets with historic cost of D95.7 million for GSM equipment and D24.4 million for furniture and fittings", observed Miss Chilel Camara Jawara of the DT Associates.
Miss Camara Jawara recommended that the management should take steps to maintain a complete inventory of all fully depreciated assets, recording their location and condition individually. The management has promised that the Finance and Audit departments would take responsibility to address the issue.
Altogether she said, almost 25 audit queries were made by the external auditors about the company as the management tried to respond to them. However, the representative of The Gambia Public Procurement Agency (GPPA) has reported that the company is fully compliance with the GPPA regulations.
Meanwhile, the honourable majority leader Fabakary Tombong Jatta, has urged the management and board of Gamcel to indicate in their next Activity Report the challenges facing the company and make suggestions as well.
Hon. Lamin K Jammeh, the member for Illiasa also urged the company to honour the recommendations made to them.
The Speaker of the National Assembly before the adoption of the report advised the company to work with the external auditors on the recommendations suggested to them.
The session was adjourned till today Wednesday 7th July 2012.