31 January 2013

Gambia: National Assembly Rejects NYC Report

The Annual Activity and Financial Reports of the National Youth Council (NYC) were yesterday, Wednesday, 30 January 2013, rejected for the third time by the Public Accounts and Enterprises Committees PAC/PEC of the National Assembly based on the absence of the Executive Secretary of the Council to clarify some doubts at the Legislative Chambers in Banjul.

"We reject the reports based on the fact that the Executive Secretary is absent to clarify the projects between the (NYC) and UNICEF, vouchers and loans owed to various people," asserted Hon. Abdoulie Bojang, Speaker of the National Assembly.

Speaker Bojang expressed disappointment in the urgent travel of the Executive Secretary without giving any notice to the Clerk of the National Assembly. He described his attitude as contempt to the National Assembly and the National Youth Council (NYC). He said it is his responsibility to face the joint committees and not the Programme Manager.

"It is so unfortunate that the young people we are molding to be future leaders are behaving in this manner," he said.

However, it could be recall that the reports of NYC were deferred following the discovery of misappropriation of funds amounting to D238, 000.

The review of the financial statement for the year 2010 revealed that there was an amount indicated in the financial statement as loss of funds amounting to D163, 000 while in the ledger it was indicated as refund to UNICEF. An additional amount of D75, 000 supposedly paid to UNICEF was also discovered bringing the total funds misappropriated to D238, 000.

The Auditor's report stated that they held discussions with the Executive Secretary concerning the said amount and they noted that the said D163, 000 was embezzled by the former Finance Assistant of NYC, Mr Sulayman Njie, who admitted the act, according to an unreferenced letter dated 24th, November 2010, addressed to the Executive Secretary after he had been confronted by management. The Finance Assistant was subsequently suspended by management pending investigation as stated in the letter ref: NYC/HQ/304/1//11 (10-MM) dated 30 November 2010.

"We noted that UNICEF gave NYC D630, 977 through a letter referenced BTR/1050740/00000002543 dated 8 July instructing Standard Chartered Bank Gambia Ltd to credit NYC's Guaranty Trust Bank A/C No: 10-1810010-10. The D630, 977 was provided to NYC to support the establishment of network of school councillors to promote CRC/Child participation," the report indicated.

The report further indicated a letter from the Ministry of Youths and Sport addressed to the Executive Secretary informing NYC stated that since the Finance Assistant accepted guilt and responsibility, he should be urged to provide a payment plan acceptable to NYC and in the event he did not comply with the terms and conditions for the refund, then he should be reported to the police for necessary action.

The report also stated that further examination of transactions relating to the D630, 977 provided by UNICEF revealed that an additional amount of D75, 000 was also borrowed from the National Enterprises Development Initiative (NEDI) meant to facilitate a further refund to UNICEF.

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