The Managing Director of the Gambia’s national electricity supplier, the National Water and Electricity Company (NAWEC) has said the company is owed over D400M by Parastatal and government institutions in the country.
Baba Fatajo made this revelation on Wednesday during a Press Conference at the company’s headquarters in Banjul.
The press conference was preceded by a visit by journalists to the NAWEC Kotu and Brikama stations respectively where works are ongoing for the maintenance of some generators as part of their efforts to satisfy their customers.
It could be recalled that last month, NAWEC Public Relations Officer Pierre Sylva led journalists on a tour of the two stations to see the state of the generators and start of the maintenance of the engines. Wednesday’s tour was meant to see the state of the maintenance as the same engines; some of which are now running efficiently and maintenance of others are in advance stage.
According to Fatajo, if the said amount is recovered, it will greatly help the company in one way or the other, in satisfying the customers.
“The D400M cannot solve NAWEC’s problem. Our operational cost alone is far more than what is owed to the company but it can also solve our immediate problems. The venture is capital intensive. The government does not have the resources to do it alone. There is a limit for what the government can do in terms of intervention. Therefore, public and private partnership is very important. It is for sure that even if we were paid 100 percent, we will still go to commercial banks to take money to add more services.” he said.
MD Fatajo appealed to the government institutions and parastatals to come forward and settle the arrears. He said disconnecting these institutions for not paying their bills will neither help NAWEC nor the said institutions and urged them to come forward for possibilities in settling down the bills.
“If we directly disconnect them, it is neither helping NAWEC nor them. We have to strike a deal, be each other’s keeper. We are in consultation with them to see how best they can improve on their payments” Fatajo said.
According to MD Fatajo, they have installations in key government departments, parastatals and ministries and it will be very irresponsible of NAWEC to aggressively disconnect them even if they owe the company insisting that these institutions constitute the government. He urged them to come forward and strike a deal with NAWEC on the payment mode in a more respectful way.