Businessman Explains Borehole Drilling Contract with Janjanbureh Area Council

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By Makutu Manneh

Yusuf Bakhos, a Gambian-Lebanese businessman has explained to the Local Government Commission of Inquiry the details of his borehole drilling contract with Janjanbureh Area Council.

According to the witness, he has two businesses, one company bearing the name YMB Enterprise which deals in selling plumbing materials and the other one called ‘Afri-Water’, Solutions which deals with borehole drilling and gardening.

According to the witness, he has drilled two boreholes for Janjangbureh Area Council; one in Fula Kunda and the other in Bayan in Niamina. He said he worked with a sub-contractor by the name Lamin Saidykhan. According to him, he did not sign any contract with Saidykhan apart from a verbal agreement that he had with him. He said he drilled the two boreholes for Six Hundred Thousand Dalasi (D600, 000) and Seven Hundred Thousand Dalasi (D700, 000) respectively. He said they agreed that he would receive the first payment at the commencement of work and would receive the rest when all work was completed.

When asked how he was paid, the witness replied thus: “I was paid cash, and the cheques issued were in the name of Lamin Saidykhan, because he was the one who withdrew the money. When I received my payment, I personally gave Lamin Saidykhan D10, 000 in appreciation.”

The witness said he did his education in Lebanon where he underwent an apprenticeship program on borehole drilling before coming to the Gambia. He said they provided a solar powered system that generated electricity for a water pumping machine from a depth of between 25 and 28 meters. Witness Bakhos further said that when costing the contract works for the borehole, he looked at the costs of the overhead tank, the stand, installation, the number of taps, the cost of the borehole machine and a few other considerations.

The Local Government Commission of Inquiry is mandated to provide a full and impartial investigation into local government councils through a holistic and fair review of the financial and administrative operations of all councils starting May 2018 to January 2023.  

Sitting continues.