Saturday, December 5, 2020

Finance Minister: US$6.2 Million Accrued from the Gateway

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By: Kebba AF Touray

The Minister of Finance, Mambury Njie, disclosed to the National Assembly on Wednesday that US$6.2 Million has been accrued from the Gateways since the Barrow led government took over from the previous administration.

Minister Njie said this in response to a question posed by Halifa Sallah, who asked him to inform the Assembly the amount that has been accrued from the gateway since the Barrow administration took over, where the funds are lodged and what government intends to do with the funds accrued.

Njie added a total of D117, 479,806.03, has been received from September 2019 to May 2020. Invoices for June 2020 have just been issued with payment due by 31st July 2020, he said.

He quantified, “the funds are distributed to PURA (5 percent), GAMTEL (5 percent), Information and Telecommunication Agency (5 percent), National Health Insurance Scheme (5 percent) and Government (30 percent), whilst the remaining 50 percent is redistributed to the operations of the Gateway”.

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Asked to shed light on Government’s preparedness and position on the ECO, Njie noted that the government is committed to the ECOWAS single currency.

He added, “the Gambia continues to meet three of the four primary convergences (inflation, Central Bank Financing of the budget and the Gross reserve and one of the two secondary convergences, exchange rate variation) since 2017”.

He lamented despite the Gambia missing the budget deficit and debt to GDP ratio, the country is among the best performing countries towards the regional integration process of the single currency.

Member for Kiang West, Fakebba Colley, asked the Minister to inform the assembly the total grants currently received as pledge for the implementation of the National Development Plan.

Minister Njie responded, “the implementation of the NDP is progressing and so far a total of US$199.57 million has been disbursed towards the implementation of the ND, representing a 12 percent disbursement rate of the amount pledged.”

On the state of debt owed by GCAA, GGC, GIA, GPA, NAWEC, GAMTEL, GRTS and the GoTG to the Social Security and Housing Finance Corporation, asked by Member for Brikama South Landing J Sanneh, on behalf of Deputy Speaker, Momodou LK Sanneh, Minister Njie said an internal audit exercise was conducted to ascertain the level of indebtedness within the SOEs and the reports indicated that the amount of debt owed by the mentioned institutions to the SSHFC, as at end May 2019, was D1, 839,888.

Miniter Njie said duty collected on rice imports for 2017 amounted to D192.4 million. Njie however said duty on rice in 2018 was zero rated and hence there was no payment of duty on rice import, whilst revenue lost to waiving taxes on rice amounted to D305.1 million in 2019.

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