Friday, July 30, 2021

Government Owes over D400 Million to SSHFC

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By: Kebba AF Touray

 Haddy Sallah, the Head of Finance and Investment at the   Social Security and Housing Finance Corporation (SSHFC), has informed the Public Enterprise Committee (PEC) that the Gambia Government owes the Corporation the sum of D421.577 million.

Head of Finance said this on Wednesday 14th July 2021, during their appearance before the committee to present their 2015 and 2019 activity reports and financial statement at the National Assembly.

On Government and SOEs loan, she said: “Gambia Ports and Ferries took a loan of D180 million of which it has repaid D178.5 million, Gamtel/Gamcel D100 millions of which it repaid D48.043 million, GRTS D46.9 million with zero repayment, GCAA D92.6 million and repaid zero, GIA D15.98million and repaid D560, 000.00, GGC D223 million and repaid D200, 000.00, NAWEC Bills settllementD139, 313000.00 and repaid D97.7 million, and that NAWEC owned bill and transferred to government D892, 832000.00 with zero repayment”.

She added: “Gambia Government owes us D421.577 Million and zero payment so far and there is still a balance of D421.577 million.”

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She also said that a total loan since the beginning of the loans of D2, 112,552.00 has been loaned to the aforesaid entities, of which the corporation recouped D325 million with D1, 787,543.00 as balance.

Dilating on the corporation’s financial performance for the year, she said that the total income of the corporation has increased from D78.8million in 2015 to D123.7 million in 2019, with a total asset of D1, 457,535.00 in 2015 to D2, 361,493.00 in 2019.

On the national provident fund, she said the total income of the corporation increased from D64, 036 million in 2015 to D135, 272000.00 in 2019.

She said: “A total of 27 cases were brought before the corporation’s tribunal during the year under review, and of these cases, 6 resulted in either immediate settlement or setting up payment plans for clients to settle their debt flexibly whilst the rest continued through the legal route”.

She said among the successful activities implemented by the corporation during the year under review includes the launching of its web portal, which seeks to enable their customers and stakeholders to have easy access to timely and relevant information.

She also said that they have put 52 staff on capacity training with 39 on local short term certificate programs,  3 pursued professional training , 5 matriculated into the university, 2 joined the American International University and 3 pursued overseas academic training.

Halifa Sallah, Chairperson of the committee reiterated that the exercise is a constitutional requirement as stated in section 175 subsection 5, which provides for the public enterprises within three months of the end of their financial year, submit their activity report and financial statements for consideration by the National Assembly.

He said they have assembled to consider the activity report and financial statement for the year ended 31st December 2019, due to a backlog which they have inherited when they started their own consideration in 2017streching to 2015.

He said they had to enter into an agreement with the Public Enterprises, to put an end to the backlog, so that they could start at fresh, which he said is necessary.

He added that section 21 of the Public Finance Act provides for the Finance Minister to include the profits of public enterprises in the budgetary consideration for each fiscal year, and that the committee deemed it fit to work with the public enterprises so that they could deal with the backlog.

He said they are aware of the relevance of the SSHFC in the public finance sector of the county and that the Public Enterprise Act indicates at section 3 the significance of Public Enterprises, in ensuring that the Public Enterprises operate as a successful business, and to this end, to be as profitable and efficient as possible, operating in accordance with government’s objectives for that sector to be a good employer.

 He added that Section 4 said the corporation should manage and administer monies, security and other assets received by it into social security, housing and any other funds established under the Act.

This, he said, would enable them to determine what is captured and what is not indicated in the report, and for them to make recommendation when necessary with the objective of moving the corporation towards greater viability.

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