Gambia: Petroleum Sector Generates U.S.$32 Million

The Petroleum and Energy Minister, Fafa Sanyang, has disclosed that US$32 million has been generated from the petroleum sector from 2017 to date.

Minister Sanyang said this on Wednesday 23rd June 2021, while responding to the question asked by the Member for Upper Saloum, Alhagie Mbwowe.

Mbowe asked the minister to provide a breakdown of all the funds generated from the petroleum sector, including the signature bonuses, licenses, data sales from 2017 to date, showing the sources of funds and their utilization during the period.

"From 2017 to date the Upstream Petroleum sector has received a cumulative sum of thirty-two million dollars (US$32 M)," he said.

Minister Sanyang said this is categorized as data sales US$11 M, surveys rental US$6M, signature bonuses US$15M, training and resources fund US$6M. He said funds from data sales and surveys rentals are spent in legal consultancy, legal fees for arbitration and associated expenses, GNPC investment, service station and the construction of CCTV at the GNPC station, GNPC Upstream reforms activities among others.

He added that from 2017 to date, the government has received 6 million from operations which are used for, among others, capacity building, long and short-term training, equipment and furniture, licenses negotiations and administration.

"Who has the final say in the allocation of these funds to the various departments and agencies of the government?" Mbowe further inquired.

The Petroleum Minister replied that the act determines where the money goes to and that the Finance Minister approves and allocates, adding that the Ministry is in charge of Government revenues.

Nominated Member Ndey Yassin Secka, asked the Minister to explain the monitoring mechanism put in place to evaluate licenses.

According to the Minister, PURA is the one that monitors and regulates licenses and that the petroleum commission is responsible for the licenses of upstream mechanism and monitoring.

Lower Nuimi lawmaker Matarr Jeng, asked the Minister whether he is aware if the GNPC enters into any agreement that could derogate the sovereignty and if yes, whether the minister would act as an adviser.

Minister Sanyang said the agreement about the GNPC, which is about the upstream, is not about the GNPC but an agreement between the Ministry and the petroleum commission. He however said the GNPC are a partner and also members of the board.

Asked to clarify the relationship between the Petroleum Ministry and the GNPC, Minister Sanyang said the GNPC is a state enterprise under the Petroleum Ministry and that Gam Petroleum is a private entity, which government bodies have shares in.

"Can the Minister provide a comprehensive update of the villages in Kantora that will benefit from the rural electrification expansion project," asked Billay G. Tunkara, the Member for Katora.

Minister Sanyang said some of the villages in Kantora that are going to benefit from the world bank funded Gambia Electricity Modernisation Project (GERMP) include but not limited to Bolili Bana, Sare Batch, Sare Mala, Brikama, Sare Sybo, Madina Bala, Giddah, Sotuma, Kemengbugu, Keneba, Jawo Kunda, Fantumbu, Banni, Kassi Kunda, Kantelli Kunda, Hamdallai Yero, SongKunda, Nymanari, Kolly Kunda,

"The project is at the final stage of finalizing with the most responsive bidder," he said.

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