Hi, Pa, can you please allow me space to share with your readers some information from the Gambia Ports Authority. Since the current MD – Lamin Sanyang took over, his first task was to set up a committee to go round all the parastatals like Nawec, SSHFC, GCAA, etc and find out what their management are benefiting in terms of salaries and allowances because he feels that the GPA with all the ego is lagging behind other institutions. He was particularly concerned about himself as he want to be at per with other MDs who are earning comparatively more than him.

When the committee submitted their report which shows great disparities in terms of salaries and benefits, he lobbied to the Board of Directors of the GPA for project allowance for the managers, senior managers, Deputy Directors, Directors and himself, which the other parastatals like NAWEC are paying.

Lamin SanyangWhen the board approved in the order of D10 000.00 for the MD, D9000.00 for the Deputy MD, D7000.00 for the Directors and Deputies and D4000.00 for the Senior Managers and Managers, he hastily authorized the account department through HR director to pay himself, the DMD and the directors and deputy directors and left out the Senior Managers and Managers even though it was approved by the board for them to be paid the allowance. 

Foolishly enough for the MD, he was going round telling the junior staff that salaries will be increased and new allowances introduced, but he has decided not to pay the senior managers and managers the project allowance he is paying himself simply because they are too many. The first question is – who created the managerial positions and who promotes people to be managers and directors? The second is, if you know that they are many, why lobby to the board for approval if you know you cannot pay them? Managers were been used as a bargaining tool for him to get what he want and when he succeeded, he now decided to dump them. He feels appeasing the directors by paying them the D7000.00 project allowance will make them back him.

Instead some of the Directors themselves are disillusioned with his approach and arrogance. The managers are the direct project and field supervisors and working day-in-day-out to make sure that the service is delivered as expected. Any breakdown on the equipment, crafts and ferries, the managers are the first line of firing by the MD. He keeps on insulting managers and harassing some of them as if they are responsible for most of the breakdowns and failures. If projects stall, managers and put in the firing line. He listens more to his puppet and empty-headed informers than his directors and managers who are supposed to be his technocrats.  

Lamin Sanyang’s arrogance has reached a point that he has now got an all-time low approval rating in the GPA and his managers are disillusioned because they felt robbed by his greed and arrogance. It has dampened their spirits and performance has dwindled as many are now saying since the MD and his Directors are the ones benefiting from project allowance, let them carry on with the projects from start to finish. Some managers have adopted an “I don’t care” attitude as they are disgruntled. They are demanding immediate payment of their board approved project allowance payment from October 2015 when the MD and his directors stated paying themselves, or else the implications could be dire in the operations of the GPA and its satellite institutions like the Shipyard, Fisheries Jetty and Ferries. What is good for the goose is good for the gander. The gap between the greedy directors and managers is far wider than that between the managers and those below them. 

Pa, please make a follow up and verify this story from the GPA Board Members, chaired by Mr. Colley and the management staff of the GPA and let the board of Governors reading this piece be made aware that this is what is going on in the ports and it needs looking into before things get out of hand. Mr. Sanyang’s arrogance and ineptitude should be checked before it gets out of hand and cost the GPA.   

A Concerned GPA Observer.

Thank you. 

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