By Makutu Manneh
Modou Jaiteh, the Chief Executive Officer of Green Vision International appeared before the Local Government Commission of Inquiry regarding the Baja Kunda Bridge Construction Project.
CEO Jaiteh appeared together with his finance director, Bunja Janneh.
Green Vision was incorporated in 2012 as a real estate and construction company. Modou Jaiteh is a resident of Kerr Seeing while Bunja Janneh is a resident of Gunjur. The written statements of the two witnesses were tendered and admitted into the records. Green Vision said the Baja Kunda Bridge Project was the first project they had with the Basse Area Council.
The Vista Bank statement of account for Green Vision International regarding the Baja Kunda Bridge works between 8 July 2021 to 18 May 2023 was also tendered into evidence and marked as an exhibit. Other documents tendered and admitted into evidence included receipts of transactions, letters, Basse Area Council’s request for refund from Green Vision for a mistaken transfer and receipts among others. Green Vision also tendered a document indicating that the work was done and another document with an attachment containing a breakdown to show that they did extra work on the field.
Modou Jaiteh said his company constructed some roads for the government including the Farato-Jambur road. For the project with the Basse Area Council, Jaiteh said they saw the advertisement in a newspaper and contacted the area council indicating their interest to participate in the bidding process.
Finance Director Bunja Janneh said each bid cost D5000, adding that they were able to buy the five (5) bids. Payment was made at the bank. Janneh added that the Basse Area Council took them on a site visit. He explained that they were asked to submit their bid documents for the five projects within two (2) weeks. He said the date of bid opening was scheduled, but when the day was due, it was rescheduled to a week or two. He added that the sealed bid documents were left at the Technical Director’s office in the area council.
Janneh said the different bids were opened in the presence of all the bidders upon their return on the stated date. He added that the bids were opened in May and in June, Basse Area Council informed Green Vision that they have been awarded Lot 1 – the Baja Kunda Bridge Project.
“They did not tell us about the other projects we bid,” he said.
Janneh said Basse Area Council did not ask them to provide a bid security. He added that Mega Bank wrote to the Basse Area Council indicating that they have an account with them. Green Vision and Basse Area Council entered the contract on 1 July 2021.
Basse Area Council made a down payment of One Million Five Hundred and Seventy-One Thousand Three Hundred and Sixty-Two Dalasi (D1,571,362) and few months later paid One Million One Hundred and Seventy-Eight Thousand Five Hundred and Seventy-Two Dalasi (D1,178,572). Green Vision received an overpayment of One Million Nine Hundred and Forty-Five Thousand Eight Hundred and Eighteen Dalaso Twenty Butut (D1,945,818.20), which the Basse Area Council reclaimed in a letter addressed to Green Vision.
Bunja Janneh said the agreed fee for the contract is Three Million Two Hundred and Ninety-Eight Thousand Four Hundred and Five Dalasi (D3,298,405).
In the agreement between Green Vision and Basse Area Council, there was a provision for performance guarantee to be made. CEO Jaiteh said his company, Green Vision, did not provide Basse Area Council with it. The Performance Guarantee was supposed to be 10% of the agreed fee.
The agreement also indicated that the advanced payment should be 40% of the agreed fee.
The Commission made observation that the dates on the Basse Area Council Vista Bank Statement for the first transaction and the dates on the Green Vision Statement at the same bank were different. For the Basse Area Council account, it was dated 17 July 2021 while the Green Vision account recorded 10th August 2021 for the same transaction. Bunja Janneh said the transaction was not supposed to take longer than 24 hours, adding the transaction was supposed to be completed within 24 hours.
“Basse Area Council should be in better position to explain this,” Janneh said.
Green Vision said the Basse Area Council informed them that the transfer was done, but when they went to the bank there was no transfer received into their account.
“We could not find money in our account and we informed them [Basse Area Council] about it,” Janneh said.
The two witnesses from Green Vision said the Basse Area Council drafted the agreement and the company did not make any inputs.
Janneh said Green Vision at the time was registered with GPPA and the registration was renewed in 2021.
Meanwhile, the Gambia Public Procurement Authority (GPPA) had submitted the remainder of the documents they had. The documents they submitted were all related to the area councils’ procurements.
Sittings continue today at 10 am.