President Adama Barrow’s weekly official upkeep at the Kairaba Beach Hotel, is costing the Gambian state over one million dalasis, the Freedom Newspaper can reveal. A weekly expenditure document from the office of the President obtained by the Freedom Newspaper, has revealed that the Barrow Presidency is now becoming a high maintenance office. Millions of dalasis is being spent to maintain a State House at the five star Kairaba Beach hotel.

The document listed Pa Musa Jallow, the Secretary General as the contact person for the office of the President, while Tumbul Drammeh, signed on behalf of the Kairaba Hotel. Mr. Drammeh is the hotel’s conference Banquet Manager.

Between the period of January, 30th to February 3rd, according to the document, the State House, has spent over one million dalasis on office expenses, room services, refreshment, beverages, and lunch.

The President Adama Barrow reports to work at the Kairaba Beach Hotel between the hours of 08: 00 hours and closed at 4:00 hours. He works five days a week.

The luxurious Jaama Hall is costing the state D35,000 dalasi per day. In one week, it would cost the state D175,000.00 dalasi. The communication room number 2, 4, 5, and 6 bills the state D20,000.000 daily, which totaled D100,000.00 dalasis for the five days working period. 

The office of the President (OP), the VP’s office and two other offices at Kairaba cost D9,000.00 dalasis. In a span of five days, the state is paying D45,000.00 dalasis.

When it comes to beverage expenses, the state is spending D60,000.00 per day. The hotel billed the state D15,000.00 dalasis every five days on beverages consumption.

Morning coffee break, juice, and sandwich per person costs D500.00.  50 people multiply by 5 working days will place the bill at D 125,000.00 dalasi.

Breakfast for the security detail assigned at the Kairaba hotel cost D350.00 dalasis per person. Ten security officers would cost the state D14,000.00 per the document obtained by this medium.

Dinner for the security entourage has been billed at D400.00 dalasi per person. It will cost the state D16,000.00 for the dinner catering of the ten security officers.

In one of the lunch expenses the bill was placed at D 850,00.00 dalasi per person. 38 people were catered for and it cost the state D148,750.00 dalasi. The catering includes: Selection of salads, fish, meat, chicken, pasta, rice and fresh fruits.

The average Gambian lives below  one United States dollar per day. The exorbitant expenses to upkeep the President and his staff should be minimized. Too much money is being spent on paying hotel bills, food, and refreshment.

President Barrow should relocate to the State House in Banjul, as soon as work is completed. Otherwise, a greater chunk of our meager budget would be spent on exorbitant bills.

The President’s office was contacted for comment before going to press. We are yet to receive a reaction from them.

In another development someone just emailed us. He claimed that the Kairaba Hotel rendered free services to President Barrow. The person goes with the name Colin Rispin. He is not speaking on behalf of the government. Below is the email.

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“Dear sir,

Please check the invoice photograph you have posted with this story, your inference is not correct, if you check the invoice you will see that many of the costs have FOC next to them, which is Free Of Charge.

Please ensure that whilst freedom of speech is good, freedom of speech comes with a responsibility that the facts are correct and as reported.

Kind regards.

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Editors note: We acted in line with journalistic principles. We hope what you are saying is false. It is unethical  for the President to accept favors or gifts from private companies. If the said bill was free, why should the Kairaba Hotel issued it in the first place? There is a record of over one million dalasis bill issued by the hotel for the state to settle. There is no indication on that bill that the bill has been written off. FOC could mean anything. Let the government clear the air. This is a scandalous story.  

That said, the people listed as beneficiaries of the hotel meals, are paid staffers of the State House. It is unfair for the office of the President to provide free meal to workers who receive monthly salaries. The Presidency is not a free barbecue outlet. Workers are supposed to pay for their own breakfast and lunch meals. 

The State is obliged to feed and cloth the President and his family, and not his staff. Someone needs to explain the rationale behind such exorbitant expenses.  

Written By Pa Nderry M’Bai

Email: panderrymbai@gmail.com

Tel: 919-749-6319

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