By Fatou Sowe
Ousman Jobarteh the deputy managing director of the Gambia Ports Authority has told the commission of inquiry that an outstanding amount of over D6 Million is due and liable to be paid to the GPA by the Kanilai Family Farms.
He said in March 2009, Kanilai Family Farm had a loaded ship of over ten thousand Metric tons of cement and 50% waiver was accorded by GPA management and the outstanding balance KFF owed to GPA on this consignment is D1,523,589. While the second one was in October 2012 and the outstanding balance is D5,296,454.64.
According to him, waivers were granted to each of these consignments and the stance of the GPA is that KFF should pay these amounts they owed to the Ports.
He said waivers are based on tariffs and is purely a commercial transaction and it’s not within the mandate of the board but in these two transactions it was the Managing Director ML Gibba who used his prerogative.
While continuing his testimony, Jobarteh said the documents of one of the transactions with the Youth Development Enterprise (YDE) couldn’t be traced. However, he added that the only thing he found was minutes of meeting by GPA Board of Directors but promise to furnish the Commission with the documents as soon as they lay their hands on them.
He revealed that he can remember the Gambia Government instituting a legal suit against the Youth Development Enterprise (YDE) and documents were submitted in respect to that suit. He said the late Baba Jobe used to go to the Ports to deal with YDE matters.
According to Mr. Jobarteh, in 2007 they received executive directives from the office of the president for the payments of air tickets for the visiting delegates of Ms. Black Beauty Pageant, USA and the sum of $305, 280 which was signed by Dr. Njogu Bah, the then Secretary General. He added that a sum of $1800 was paid to each of the 162 (one hundred sixty-two) delegates and the amount was paid based on the information they received in a letter and the payment was made through a bank transfer to Inter-world Exchange Corporation.
He said on the January 26, 2011, they received another directive from the office of the president for the extension of a land belonging to GPA to the International Milling Corporation and the land was allocated and physically handed over to the said corporation and they constructed on that land.
Mr. Jobarteh disclosed that the sum of D18, 464,850 was the agreement for the compensation of the land by the said Corporation but they failed to honor the agreement despite writing several letters to the Managing Director, Muhammed Bazi.
When asked why they did not sue the corporation to recover the money, Jobarteh responded that he cannot answer that question.