14 June 2018

Gambia: At the 'Janneh' Commission - NAWEC Deputy MD Debunks Mazegi's Statement On Company's Management

Nani Juwara, Deputy Managing Director of NAWEC, yesterday told the 'Janneh' Commission that he begged to defer with Fadia Mazegi's testimony that Global Electrical Group (GEG), was not in charge of the day to day activities of Gambia's only Utility Service Company.

According to Juwara, Momodou B. Jallow made it very clear to NAWEC Officials that he was more of a ceremonial MD and Bazzi was fully in charge of the Company; that Bazzi even summoned meetings and informed them that he could fire them, but did not do it because of what he Bazzi said 'brotherhood.'

He confirmed to the Commission that he attended two meetings at the Standard Chartered House, summoned by Bazzi; that the taskforce leader was sharing the same office as the Managing Director of NAWEC.

In terms of finance, Juwara said the MD endorsed payments in consultation with the GEG taskforce team; that the MD could not endorse payments without consulting them (taskforce members).

Juwara, during his last appearance, was asked to produce documents relating to Kanilai International Group as well as those of a Sewage Company called Aqua, which he did; that there were several electricity extensions for KGI in various regions.

He informed the Commission that the total liability for KGI and Kanilai Family Farms (KFF) is D51, 681,155 while for Aqua, they recently received five month's payment from them.

Testifying earlier, the Managing Director of Euro Africa Group, Fadia Mazegi, explained that his Company is currently executing contracts for NAWEC at Kotu Power Station; that there is another contract at Brikama being financed by BADEA and OFID for $19,000,000; that for the Kotu contract, the value was $20,750,000.

According to him, the Brikama power plant was commissioned in 2009 and it was correct that they were applying $1,000,000 per megawatt; that it was also correct they supplied fuel for the IPP.

Mazegi testified that the fuel supplied for the IPP was the same price as the Heavy Fuel Oil (HFO).

At this juncture, it was put to him by Counsel Bensouda that there was no fuel supply to Kotu Power Station. In response, Mazegi told Commissioners that there were two Companies, namely Euro Africa Group and GEG; that Global Trading Group signed a contract with NAWEC but the execution was done by GEG.

It was again put to him by Counsel that the IPP belongs to his Company and asked him why they were charging themselves for transmission and transportation of fuel. In response, Mazegi said the total value of the capacity charge amounted $64,212,287 while the sum of $10,824,000 was deferred.

Counsel told him that the fuel they supplied to the IPP should have been cheaper but Mazegi maintained that there were different Companies. He however clarified that there was no contract between Euro Africa Group and GTG but the armlet was between Euro Africa Group and GEG.

Counsel Bensouda put it to him that what was owed for the capacity charge was 20 months, starting from January 2010, to August 2011. This was confirmed by the witness.

On the discount cheques, Mazegi revealed that the invoices were marked 'discount.' He was however asked to list the Banks they owe and the liabilities NAWEC took over from them.

Mazegi further disclosed that they owe Banks $29,000,000. He was again asked to give a breakdown of the total they owe the Banks, and he promised to provide this to the Commission. Mazegi confirmed providing NAWEC with reconditioned generators but could not remember the cost; that SSHFC paid the sum of $183,000,000 for the generators while the sum of €4.3 million was the cost of two other generators bought by SSHFC.

It was again put to him by Counsel that it was after the generators arrived in 2010, that NAWEC was compelled to sign an agreement with their Company, despite the fact that they were reluctant to do so due to the nature of the generators. Mazegi said as far as he knew, he did not experience any complaint from NAWEC regarding the alleged second-hand generators and mode of operations by their Companies.

He then asked why NAWEC did not write to complain that the generators were scrapped ones but he responded that he did not know the reason why the former managing directors of NAWEC were arrested.

It was put to him by Counsel that NAWEC then did not have the audacity to complain because they might end up in Mile II or get sacked. She then asked the witness whether he was once arrested by the former government and this was how he responded: "I was never arrested."

On the Gam-Power purchase agreement, it was put to him that this was different from the one signed between NAWEC and GTG, Mazegi responded that the taskforce never touched NAWEC's account. Again it was put to him that there was a penalty charge for SSHFC by GEG but he said the penalty clause was not applied.

Mazegi confirmed that they have been occupying NAWEC premises at Fajara Booster Station since 2009, which was part of the agreement during the extension of the Kotu project. He was quick to add that he could not remember the person who signed the agreement from NAWEC.

On the projects funded by Venezuela, he told the Commission that GTG was accorded 11 lots while a Finish Company was given 4. It was put to him that his bid was deflated due to the liabilities his Companies owed but he denied this; that the sum they tendered for the bid was $11,000,000.

At this juncture, he was shown a copy of his statement, which he confirmed. He disclosed that he was not sure whether Ahmed Hodrog was one of the GTG directors.

Documents relating to the HFO contracts and a copy of his statement as well as other relevant documents, were tendered and admitted as exhibits.

Mazegi concluded his testimony that he was never Muhamed Bazzi's right hand man and did not enjoy executive protection while executing his duties in The Gambia.

Sitting continues on Monday June 18th 2018.

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