The management and board of the Gambia Printing and Publishing Corporation (GPPC) in the report submitted to the Public Accounts and Enterprises Committee PAC/PEC of the National Assembly, yesterday, complained of old machines and debts owed by the government as the major challenges affecting the institution.
"The biggest challenge facing the Corporation is the old aged machines", asserted Mr. Abdou AB Njie, the Chairman of the Board of GPPC.
Chairman Njie explained the need for capital to change the old machines with a state of earth machines. He complained about the high debt that the government owes the institution and the high cost of printing materials. He also made mention of poor financial management of the previous management of the Corporation.
The GPPC Board Chairman unveiled that the issue of government loans is increasing year by year. He explained that the matter was taken with the Ministry of Finance who agreed to pay the balance on a monthly basis.
"The old machines of the Corporation have been an obstacle to compete at the market. We need a state of the earth machines to compete effectively", asserted Mr. Momodou Ceesay, the Acting MD of the Corporation.
According to Acting MD Ceesay, the objective of the Corporation is to secure revenue collections for the government. He mentioned about the transformation of the new management with a tight financial management control. He also mentioned the creation of an internal audit that is answerable to the Board of Directors.
MD Ceesay revealed the Memorandum of Understanding signed between the Corporation and Ministry of Basic and Secondary Education to print all the books of the private schools in 2014. He explained that the development would boost the revenue of the institution. He also revealed that the Corporation has revenue of over D24 million dalasi in 2011.
"The government created the GPPC and should not be responsible for its failure", asserted Hon. Fabakary Tombong Jatta, the Majority Leader.
However, Hon. Jatta expressed concern about the short nature of the report which he said should be improved to give more information about the activity of the Corporation. He stressed the need to encourage the government to pay its liabilities to the Corporation. He also raised concern about the financial mismanagement of the Corporation which he said was the care free attitude on the part of the old management.
Hon. Abdoulie Saine, the member for Banjul Central raised the issue of the Corporation, giving almost a million dalasi for donation on gala dinners when it is facing financial problems. The management response was that the donation was part of its corporate social responsibility but they were warned to be more careful in giving social responsibilities based on the financial status of the institution.
Meanwhile, the Board Chairman promised that the new Board and Management would make sure that the same problems would not happen. Subsequently, the report was adopted and the session was adjourned till today.