PRESS RELEASE ON THE STATE OF THE GAMBIAN ECONOMY AND SOME FRAUDULENT ACTIVITIES OF THE FORMER PRESIDENT YAYA JAMMEH AND HIS APRC GOVERNMENT.
With the new dispensation, The Ministry of Finance and Economic Affairs is pleased to inform the general Public concerning the state of the economy at the exit point of the presidency of the former president Yahya Jammeh and the APRC Government.
The Real GDP growth of The Gambia bas rebounded to 4.3 per cent in 2015 from 0.9per cent in 2014. The improved economic activities continued in 2016 with growth be expected to be within the long-term trend growth rant of 4-6 per cent.
Total Revenue and grants in 201 7 is estimated at 14.34 billion from D 12.99 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 Ibis, interest payments are estimated to be over D 3 billion.
Fiscal deficit in 20 I 7 is anticipated to increase to D4. 7 billion (I 0 per cent of GD P) from D3.9 billion budgeted in 2016, representing a growth of 20.5 per cent. The estimated Net Domestic borrowing for the fiscal year is expected to be 10% of GDP.
Public debt ratio is II 5% of G D P as at end Dec 2016. Total debt stock stood at D48. 3 billion comprising D20.3 billion external and D28 billion domestic. Tbe 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.
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. Both food and nonfood inflation increased to 8.7 and 6.S per cent in Dec 2016 from 7.6 and 5.3 per cent in 2015 respectively.
Th monetary policy rate has remained constant at 23 percent since April 2015.
Gross official reserves are US$68.75 million as at Feb 3rd 2017, while the net international reserves are at US$20.81. This is approximately less than 2 months of import cover.
From the above information, it could be clear that the Economy of The Gambia had been completely destroyed and part of the stories are related to the action of the then President Exiled Yaya Jammeh and his enablers. From the little investigations, the Ministry conducted, some alarming and gross mismanagement of public funds were discovered that requires the attention of the Public.
GAMTEL GATE WAY REVENUE
It was discovered that the GAMTEL Ltd Gateway Termination Revenue had been siphoned by the president.
The Gambia Gateway Project is being managed by Gambia Telecommunications Company Ltd, GAMTEL LTD, on behalf of the Government of the Gambia. Incomes emanating from international incoming and outgoing traffic are generated through this gateway and initially used by Gamtel to offset its costs and loans. However, the management of the gateway was contracted to third parties over the years, Spectrum, System1, Tel. and MGl. Currently, the Government through Gamtel Ltd is having a 5 year contract with MGI from 2014 to 2019.
Fellow Gambians, the incomes generated by this project were diverted from Gamtel to an account – International Gateway Account at the Central Bank of the Gambia from 13 th September 2013 to 4th July 2014. This account had an accumulated deposit for this period of US$5,421,732.98 of which US$5,421,440.61 was withdrawn leaving a balance of only US$292.37.
On 10th July 2014, another account was opened called the Special Projects Fund. A total US$45,194,083.24 was deposited over the period and US$45,171,420.05 was withdrawn over the same period leaving a balance of only 110,630.42 as at 23rd January 2017.
A sample of the withdrawals include:
- 1517/14 Cash withdrawal of US$300,000 by Sana Jarjue, Office of the President.
- 23/7/14 Cash withdrawal of US$700,000 through Sana Jarjue, Office of the President.
- 23/7/14 Cash withdrawal of US$600,000 through Sana Jarjue, Office of the President.
- 11/8/14 Cash withdrawal of US$I,OOO,OOO Office of the President.
- 10/9/14 Cash withdrawal of US$I,OOO,OOO Office of the President.
- 25/3/15 Cash withdrawal ofUS$750,000 by Sana Jarjue, Office of the President.
Vll. 16/9/15 Cash withdrawal of US$400,000 through Sulayman Badgie, Office of the President.
V111. 16/9/15 Cash withdrawal of US$800,000 through Sulayman Badgie, Office of the President.
- 26/9/15 Cash withdrawal of US$500,000 through Sulayman Badgie, Office of the President.
- 14/11/16 Cash withdrawal of US$704,721.63 through Nuha Williams, Office of the President.
Xl. 16/9/15 Cash withdrawal of US$704,721.63 through Nuha Williams, Office of the President.
According to our preliminary findings, these amounts have been withdrawn in cash US dollars or Gambian dalasis withdrawn and US dollars bought in the foreign exchange market thus creating undue pressure on both our reserves and the exchange rates. These two accounts totaling US$50,615,816-22 in deposits of our international call terminating revenue have been withdrawn mainly in cash foreign currency and dalsis converted into foreign currency.
2.1 Carnegie Mining Project
The Gambia has not discovered huge mineral resources but Elminite has been discovered and mined over the years. Carnegie Mining Project account was opened at CBG from 24th January 2012 to 30th December 2015 receiving D139.423 million as deposits and D139.312 million as expenditure. This leaves a balance of only D 11 0,630 as at this date today.
This account was operated outside the Central Government budgetary system and not accounted for in the Consolidated Revenue Fund. The account has been managed by the Office of the President and Yaya Jammeh and all expenditures were done at his directive or will. A sample of these expenditures include:
- Transfer to TBL in favour of EAGL for D30,969,140.
- Cash foreign currency withdrawals of D3,833,000.
- Cheque payment for D5,000,000
- Cash Payments to Governors for cost of fishing boats D600,000
- Donation/Support by Gambia Government of D21,635,000
From 30th December 2015 there was no deposit into this account and we are now investigating were the revenues due to the Government from the mining contract. The Government is paying for the services of lawyers retained for the legal case with Carnegie with retainer fees totaling D59.28 million to date and claims of monthly payments of £50,000 per month still running. The Attorney General and Minister of Justice will look into these payments and the legal issues with Carnegie with a view to bringing this bizarre drama indicative of the selfish interest of the Jammeh APRC regime.
We are verifying the current contract that exists between the Mining operators and a company said to have the mining rights – Alhamdulilahi Petroleum and Mineral Company. From our initial investigations of this company, there was no trace of its registration with the Registrar of Companies and the Attorney General and Minister of Justice is assisting us on this matter.
2.2 Social Security Housing and Finance Corporation (SSHFC)
The Jammeh APRC administration has dipped its long arm into worker’s pension funds through rampant “Executive Directives” to the management of SSHFC. A total of D2,094,891,000 was withdrawn by Executive Directives to a multitude of expenditures including:
- D74.517 million for NA WEC generators; D547.588 million for loan repayments on behalf of NA WEC for ITFC and D74.662 million for interest charges for NAWEC;
- D148.50 million (US$4.5 million) for aircraft purchase and D2.956 million for ferrying the aircraft;
- Another NA WEC generator acquisition amounting to D118.00 million was also made. Some repayments were received on this loan.
- Cost of John Deree tractors ($2.018 million) amounting to D57.092 million.
- Cash withdrawals of US$500,000 twice totalling US$I,OOO,OOO were made from the SSHFC through Executive Directives of Yaya AJJ Jammeh for expenditures uncounted for and undocumented.
All these expenditures were out of the ordinary worker’s accumulated pensions fund and out of a total of D2,094,891,000, the sum of D1.71 billion remains non-performing without any payment made to it.
- Gambia Ports Authority
Our preliminary review of GP A found that the Authority made some questionable and wanon expenditure in its Business Development Expenses/Corporate Social Responsibilities account for 2015 and 2016:
- GP A contribution towards Kanilai Alternative Medical Clinic, run by Yaya
AJJ Jammeh for D25,000.
- Hiring of tents for Sukuta APRC branch for DDI 0,000.
- Payment for 200 T-Shirts for APRC militants and BCC for D75,000.
- 50% Payment to Ministry of Basic and Secondary Education for 22nd July scholarship pageant for D250,000.
- Payment of D300,000 for 22nd July 20th Celebration.
- Honorarium to Volunteers at Dobong Farm DI08,000 on 10/09/2015 and another DI08,000 on 18112/2015.
V11. Printing of green T-Shirts for D255,750.
Vlll. Payment sponsoring of a table for D375,000 for APRC Peace and Love Gala dinner.
For the year 2016, GPA made the following expenditures out of its Business Development Expenses/Corporate Social Responsibilities account, the resources of the Gambian people:
- Payment of its Business Development Expenses/Corporate Social Responsibilities account f D500,000 for Jammeh Foundation for Peace fundraising Gala Dinner on 20/112016. And another D400,000 for platimum plus and sapphire table to APRC gala dinner.
- Payment of T-Shirts amounting to D46,000 for July 22nd celebrations, 2016
- Payment of 855 T-Shirts ecogroup for July 22nd celebrations, 2016.
- Payment to security services of D60,000 for July 22nd celebrations, 2016.
- Payment of D40,000 to APRC women rally at Jarra Soma 2016.
- Payment of D356,000 for 200 polo T-Shirts and 1,300 T-Shirts for July 22nd celebrations.
VlI. Payment fo D 11 0,000 for 500 T-Shirts for July 22nd celebrations.
Vlll. Payment of 105,000 T-Shirts for July 22nd celebrations.
- Payment of D21,000 for 100 T-Shirts for APRC Award ceremony.
- Payment of D18,750 towards APRC Kiang West political rally.
In 2016, the investigations discovered with shock that the GP A bought a new vehicle budgeted at D3,000,000 for D7,527,392.16. This is more than double the budget for this item.
These sample Public Enterprise accounts of SSHFC and Gamtel, The Carnegie mmmg project is a reflection of the gross mismanagement of our economy by Yaya AJJ Jammenh and his APRC Government. There conduct amounts to a total betrayal of the Gambian people leaving them with monstrous debts of D48.3 billion, net international reserves of only US$27.4 million or 0.7 months of import of goods and services. The Central Bank of The Gambia has short term borrowings (SWAPS) from commercial banks of US$32.7 million to enable it meet the Government’s loan repayment obligations.
Fellow Gambians, this brief is to show you what His Excellency, Adama Barrow and his Government have found left of our country. A truly APRC disaster – in human rights, socially, politically, fiscally and monetarily, economically and financially.
We, in the Government of The New Gambia, under your New President, Adama Barrow and the strong goodwill of our international partners and the urgency with which they have come forth to assist and support a New Gambia that if full of freedom, democracy, human rights, rule of law and with sound fiscal and monetary policies, will strive and work and play to achieve the development aspirations of the people of The New Gambia.
His Excellency, the President and his Government will take all steps and measures to ensure that all lost, stolen and misappropriated assets are returned to the Gambian people. The Honourable Minister of Interior and Attorney General and Minister of Justice will have all the information on these preliminary findings to take appropriate actions. The Ministry will continue to come up with more press releases as and when more information are gathered.