GIEPA’s Total Income Increased by D5.8 Million in 2020

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By: Kebba AF Touray

The income of the Gambia Investment and Export Promotion Agency (GIEPA) has increased by D5.8 Million from D28.5 million in 2019 to D34.3 in 2020.

This decline in the agency’s total income for the period stated is unveiled in its 2020 financial and activity report, presented to the Finance and Public Accounts Committee (FPAC) of the National Assembly, for scrutiny, consideration and adoption by the management.

GIEPA Management reported, “When compared to the preceding year of 2019, the total income realized in the year 2020 amounted to D 34.3 million while in 2019 was D28.5 million translating to 20% increase in total income.”

As explained in the said report by its management, the GIEPA’s Income sources include GOTG subventions, SIC income, rentals of lands, properties and donor income.

It explained: “In the year 2020 the total income received for the operation of the activities of the Agency was D34.3 million of which 75% (25.64M) represent funding from the government of the Gambia, 6% (1.95M) form EDC income, 3% (0.861M) from EPSDP, less than 1% (0.122M) from YEP Project, 1% from IOM (0.514), 7% (2.3M) from GIZ, 3% (1.1M) from SIC and 5% (1.8M) from other income.”

The management explained that the GOTG subventions received in the year 2020 was 25.6m increased by 43% compared to the 2019 subvention received which was D17.7M, saying, “The increase is attributed by the 2020 budget allocated to the Agency by the Ministry of Finance to aid the Agency in implementing its activities.”

The total amount of liabilities of the agency, according to the management, had increased from D0.75 million in 2019 to D4.76 million in 2020. This represents a net increase of D4.01 million (535%) which is majorly as result of Deferred Grants as a result of the Motor Vehicle transferred to the Agency by the Government and donor partners.

The management stated that its payables increased by D1.1million which can be attributed to accrued internet service expenses and outstanding payments for the Enterprise Support Office Master Program in Cameroon.

On Accumulated Reserves, the management said: “The total accumulated reserve brought forward from 2019 amounted to D227.5 million compared to the closing accumulated fund balance of D223.4million in 2020. This represents a decrease in reserve of D4.0million 1.76%. The variance can largely be attributed to the loss incurred in the period under review.”

The management, however, lamented that it is also confronted with challenges, and among them is the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, which has affected the implementation of the activities as budgets and MoU signed with partners were revised.

The management decried that this has delayed the disbursement of funds to smoothly roll out all training activities.

“Another challenge faced by the agency during the reviewed period was due to time constraints caused by the paused activity due to the peak in COVID-19 numbers. The team worked on implementing both Q2, 3 and 4 activities in just 3 months. The challenges also include no ready-made support was available to SMEs that were most affected by Covid-19,” the GIEPA management highlighted.

In light of the above mentioned challenges, the management of the agency recommended that the government to open a response and recovery programme for SMEs as a – post-Covid-19 package, use the covid-19 to launch the MSME Fund in the Gambia.

“The social protected network for MSMEs should be activated and supplemented by MoTIE as enshrined in the entrepreneurship policy. Promote Made-In-The-Gambia through a program of supporting Gambian indigenous companies and ensuring government buying from Gambians. Provide the platform and infrastructure to conduct training online,” management recommended.

The management further recommended the need to engage GRA to create a fund to help businesses as well as advocate for a three-year tax holiday for start-ups, Government to fund the business research unit of GIEPA, and identify and allocate lands for investment (economic zones) in WCR, LRR, NBR, CRR and URR respectively.

“It is also crucial to have the Seed fund for export financing (i.e., establishment of the Export Development Fund). All exporters should register with GIEPA to benefit from the ECOWAS levy,” it added.

“Government should assist the Agency with a Head Office since the lack of space is hindering the implementation of work activities,” GIEPA Management further recommended.

After a lengthy consideration and scrutiny stage by the members of the FPAC, the committee adopted the reports of the agency for the fiscal year 2020. However, the committee now awaits the 2021 reports from the agency, which is currently with Auditors for auditing and will be submitted to the committee for consideration and adoption.