20 November 2012

Gambia: AMRC Advised to Focus On Its Mandate

The management and board of the Assets Management and Recovery Corporation (AMRC) was yesterday advised by the joint session of the Public Accounts and Enterprises Committees PAC/PEC of the National Assembly to avoid deviating into projects that are not part of its mandate.

"I think your biggest endeavour is for asset recovery," said Hon. Abdoulie Bojang, the Speaker of the National Assembly.

Speaker Bojang advised the new management of the Corporation to concentrate on its mandate and not the other way round. He stressed the need to help the new management to take up its responsibility in realizing its objectives. He called on the board to help in monitoring the accounts of the Corporation.

"It is not in your mandate to go into housing scheme. The capital involved in housing scheme is so huge," said Hon. Alagie Sillah, member for Banjul North.

The Banjul North member advised the new management not to inherit the bad things of their predecessors. He complained about the refusal of compensating the land owners at the Yundum Army Barracks while the Corporation was giving land at Senegambia. He further complained about the refusal of implementing the recommendations made by the committees.

"Who is the owner of Invest Gambia? They took a loan of over D10 million dalasi," asked Hon. Fabakary Tombong Jatta, the Majority Leader.

The Majority Leader complained that the loans were not secured and the people who took it cannot be traced. He stressed the need to put in place robust and strict mechanisms to recover the loans. He queried about the current liability of the Corporation.

"We want to know the people who owed you and the amount they owed," he said.

Hon. Lamin K. Jammeh, the member for Illiasa said the management has deviated from its mandate to something that is creating more problems for them, adding that the new management should be reminded about its core functions.

"Are you making arrangements with the Interpol to arrest your former Managing Director Mr. Abdoulie Tamba and Mr. Ebrima Sanyang of Invest Gambia?" asked Hon. Alagie Sillah.

The management responded in the affirmative. They said they are preparing a document for the Office of the President for a necessary action.

However, the external auditors have indicated several observations and recommendations in the financial statements. They observed a debt figure of over D51 million dalasi of which no significant securities were provided. They also observed that the Corporation owes over D31 million dalasi in 2011.

"Why are you giving millions in donations, while you are facing financial constraints," asked Hon. Abdoulie Saine, member for Banjul Central.

The management responded that the donation was part of its social corporate responsibility.

The representative of the Gambia Public Procurement Agency (GPPA) revealed that the Corporation was fairly compliant with its regulations.

Hon. Buba Ayi Sanneh, the member for Kombo Central, in his intervention, asked how the Corporation acquired the Nyambikala layout. He said the traditional owners were not compensated. In response, the AMRC management said the land was forfeited by the commission of inquiry which handed it over to the Corporation.

Meanwhile, Mr. Saikou Kujabi, the Managing Director of AMRC, stated earlier that the Corporation was established by an Act of Parliament in 1992. He said it is to manage the assets and liabilities of the defunct Gambia Commercial and Development Bank and subsequently, to take over the management and administration of any assets of the Gambia Government which the Ministry of Finance may assign to it from time to time. It includes the portfolio of assets from the various commissions of enquiry established after the July 1994.

Eventually, the report was adopted by the joint session committees of the National Assembly and the session was adjourned till today.

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