D48.3 billion monstrous debt left by Jammeh regime

9

Gambia’s Ministry of Finance and Economic Affairs has discovered the mismanagement of public enterprises like Social Security and Housing Finance Corporation (SSHFC), Gamtel and Carnegie Mining project by the former President Yahya Jammeh and his APRC government saying the conduct amounts to a total betrayal of the Gambian people leaving them with monstrous debts amounting to D48.3 billion ($1.1billion), net international reserves of only US$27.4 Million or 0.7 months of import of goods and services.

Accordingly, the Central Bank of The Gambia has short term borrowing (SWAPS) from commercial banks of US$32.7 Million to enable it meet the government’s loan repayement obligation.

Minister Amadou Sanneh made these revelations on Monday, February 20, during a press conference at the Ministry’s conference room on the state of the Gambian economy and some fraudulent activities of the former President Yahya Jammeh and his APRC government.

He said from preliminary investigations conducted, its clear that the economy of the country had been completely destroyed and part of the stories are related to the action of the then President Exiled Yahya Jammeh and bis enablers.

“Real GDP growth of The Gambia has rebounded to 4.3 per cent in 2015 from 0.9 per cent in 2014. The improved economic activities continued in 2016 with growth expected to be within the long term trend growth rant of 4-6 per cent. Total Revenue and grants in 2017 is estimated at D14.34 billion from D12.99 billion budgeted, representing a growth of 10.4 per cent. Domestic revenue is estimated at D8.5 in 2017. Conversely, total expenditure and net lending is projected at D19.1 billion in 2017 from 16.9 billion budgeted in 2016. Of this, interest payments are estimated to be over D3 billion” Minister Sanneh explained.

Minister Sanneh added that fiscal deficit in 2017 is anticipated to increase to D4.7 billion (10 per cent of GDP) from D3.9 billion budgeted in 2016, representing a growth of 20.5 per cent. He said estimated net domestic borrowing for the fiscal year is expected to be 10% of GDP.

“Public debt ratio is 115% of GDP as at end December 2016. Total debt stock stood at D48.3 billion comprising D20.3 billion external and D28 billion domestic. The domestic debt increases from 54% to 67% of GDP from 2015 to 2016 respectively, compared with a marginal increase of the external debt from 46% to 48% of GDP from 2015 to 2016 respectively” Finance Minister Sanneh said.

According to him, consumer price inflation measured by the National Consumer Price Index (NCPI) rose to 7.9 per cent in December 2016 compared to 6.9 per cent in the corresponding period in 2015, adding that both food and non-food inflation increased to 8.7 and 6.5 per cent in December 2016 from 7.6 and 5.3 per cent in 2015 respectively.

He further stated that the monetary policy rate has remained constant at 23 percent since April 2015 and gross official reserves are US$68.75 Million as at February 3 2017, while the net international reserves are at US$20.81, which is approximately less than 2 months of import cover.