The acting managing director and director of Finance of the Gambia Printing and Publishing Corporation (GPPC) Monday revealed that the Corporation registered a turnover of D24, 676, 107.00 in 2011, as against D24, 488, 020.00 for the previous year, which represents about 0.76 growth.
Momodou Ceesay made this revelation while presenting the GPPC 2011 Annual Activity Report and Audited Financial Statements before the Joint Session of the Public Accounts and Public Enterprises Committees (PAC/PEC) of the National Assembly, at the National Assembly Chambers in Banjul.
He explained that the gross profit margin is about 76% opposed to about 88% in the year 2010. He went on to state that the GPPC is striving very hard to fulfill its objective of providing revenue and other relevant materials for the government on a timely basis to enhance the government's objective of collecting maximum revenue for the country.
Ceesay also told the Committee that the Corporation recognises the efforts of government in ensuring that a more robust and effective revenue collecting system is in place to prevent the loss of revenue collection due to the use of falsified revenue collection materials by fraudsters. "The Corporation also continues to intensify its marketing strategy for more private sector printing. As a corporation, we realised the need to penetrate the private sector market to greatly increase and improve our revenue base for more development," he added.
He went on: "The Corporation is hopeful that with continuing support of government in patronising it for most of its printing works and capturing the lion share of the private sector printing market, it will in a very short time surmount the major obstacles and challenges and ultimately achieve its major objectives of expansion, growth and financial sustainability."
Development of GPPC strategic plan
Ceesay informed the Committee that GPPC management has developed a three-year strategic plan, which was endorsed by the board. He said the plan was developed with the full participation of all staff and they took full ownership of it. "The plan has clearly defined the GPPC medium-term objectives, the strategies for achieving these objectives and identified programmes and monitorable targets for the plan period," he added.
He further told the Committee that the major challenge for the GPPC is how to mobilise the required financial resource to implement the programmes, while noting that the management will explore all avenues for resource mobilisation including public, private, and donor funding.
Structural and management reforms
Ceesay said: "In its bid to improve on the efficiency and productivity of the operating GPPC, the Board and management have instituted various internal structure reforms and the introduction of proper management system. These include the redesignation of the former corporate directorate to marketing directorate and strengthening the latter by redesignating competent marketing staff, and providing the directorate a vehicle to facilitate mobility."
As regards the Finance Department, Ceesay said tighter internal financial controls have been introduced to ensure adequate financial discipline. He also disclosed that the Production Directorate, which is the life-blood of the Corporation, is currently under review with a view to effecting organisational restructuring if found necessary.
Ceesay informed the Committee that as a printing institution, the GPPC continues to attach greater prominence and attention to its orienting function to ensure that the purpose for setting up the Corporation is not defeated.
According to him, the Corporation registered a success of about 80% of meeting their delivery and quality targets, which he said would not have been possible without the support given to staff by management both in terms of providing training for the staff as well as ensuring efficiency and effectiveness in the performance of duties and responsibilities. "The major problems we are facing are how to cope with priority and urgent last minute requests we obtain from government institutions and sometimes from the private customers," he said.
He further stated that in order to enhance its capacity to do more printing for the private sector, the GPPC recently signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with the Ministry of Basic and Secondary Education to print all the textbooks for the private schools beginning from the academic year 2013-2014. "This is a significant achievement for the GPPC in that it will really boost the revenue base of the GPPC significantly; hence pave a way for the growth and expansion aspiration of the Corporation," he remarked.
Management & operational issues
Ceesay said the GPPC had and is still working very hard to enhance both its technical and management operations. This, he said, is done through the building and enhancing of its human resource capacities in the form of training as well as support its production capabilities by way of improving the capacities of the already existing equipment and the introduction of more efficient printing technological machines.
Notwithstanding, he admitted that during these periods, the GPPC encountered some problems as relating to financial mismanagement mentioned in the previous audit reports. "Since then, the Board and management have endeavoured to deal with concerns of the PAC/PEC Committee of the National Assembly and to comply with its recommendations and ensure their full implementation," Ceesay said.
Following the report of the external auditors and the subsequent recommendations of the august body on the above issue, Ceesay said the GPPC committed itself and took necessary measures to ensure that all the ex-staff who owed the Corporation were pursued to settle their outstanding arrears immediately by agreeing to a payment plan which must be strictly adhered to.
"As a result of these efforts, 92% have already completed their payments whilst the rest continue to repay their loans regularly. The Board and management have also taken concrete measures that in future loans granted to the staff are strictly done in accordance with the financial instruction and the general orders by incurring those loans and making sure that monthly loan deduction are effected and strictly adhered to," he added.
According to him, the total expenses have reduced, though slightly, from D18, 515, 060.00 to D18, 505, 650.00, with an increase in depreciation resulting from the revaluation carried out by the GPPC in 2011. "The profit before tax has reduced from 12% to 0.57% in 2010 and 2011 respectively," he said.
Ceesay told the Committee that in the year under review, the GPPC increased its revenue from both private and public printing. He said there was increase in revenue from the private sector, from D630, 594.00 in 2010 to D2, 960, 414.00 in 2011.
He continued: "For the public sector printing, revenue increased from D1, 240, 796.00 in 2010 to D3, 312, 482.00, about 16%. Therefore, the GPPC is very hopeful that in the longer term its profitability will increase by retaining customers, improve on cost management and building on longer term goodwill and hence sustainability and growth. "The GPPC asset position has improved greatly from D16, 277, 929.00 to D96, 412, 422.00 as a result of the revaluation. This has further boosted the Corporation's potentials for sustainability and growth."
Ceesay further remarked that although the liability position of the GPPC has increased from D14, 830, 195.00 to D17, 371, 291.00, that is by about 17.13%, the current assets are enough to offset these liabilities, indicating a brighter future for the Corporation.
Samba JB Tambura, assistant compliance officer at the Gambia Public Procurement Authority (GPPA), reported GPPC was found to be fully compliant to the GPPA Act, and its attendant Regulations and Instructions during the period under review. The Committee then raised concerns, comments, questions, recommendations and suggestions with responses from the GPPC management before finally adopting the report.