By Ndey Sowe
The Gambia Ports Authority (GPA) on Friday January 10th 2020 paid 20 million dalasi as dividend to Government through the Minister of Finance and Economic Affairs Mr. Mambureh Njie.
The payment of this money to Government is based on the GPA’s Audited Financial statement for the year ended December 2018.
The Minister of Finance and Economic Affairs Mambureh Njie said the day marked another historic one in the partnership between Government and the GPA; that the GPA is among the best performing and one of the most tax compliant state owned enterprises (SOEs) for the past decades.
“This year’s dividend payment by the GPA illustrates the unlimited potential in the Authority’s revenue generation capacity. The dividend payment of D20 million dalasi this year is historic compared to the D5 million paid last year. This is an increase by four folds,’’ the Finance Minister said.
Finance Minister said Government will continue to recommit its support to the GPA to transform the infrastructure of the Port to an ultra-modern facility. This, he said, will allow the Ports to maintain its regional trade hub status due to efficiency and increase its digitalization.
Ousman Jobarteh, the Managing Director of the GPA, said it is a statutory obligation that an SOE is owned by Government should be obliged to pay dividend to Government; that although with some challenges in terms of infrastructure improvement, the Ports is gradually improving as expected.
“We wish to express our appreciation to the board of directors of the GPA and Government for their continued support.”
He said the GPA’s efficiency directly translates to affordability in terms of commodities for the livelihood of all Gambians.
Jobarteh remarked: “We are committed and alive of our mandate that we are owned by Government and need to provide services to the public’s interest and to sustain and improve operations of the GPA by taking care of the Authority’s human capacity base.
Alie Secka, Chief Executive Director of the GCCI who spoke on behalf of the Chairperson of the Board of Directors, applauded the GPA for taking the right steps in providing the required services to the general public which enabled the provision of such a huge dividend to Government.
“The last years have been quite exciting although we recognize the huge challenges we had,” he said; that hence the reason why the Port’s Master Plan is being updated. He applauded the diligent work of the previous board in ensuring that the future of the GPA is sustained.
“We will continue to engage and continue to work with Government and all stakeholders’ particularly economic operators and importers in the Gambia, to build the capacity of the GPA. The transit of goods to the neighborhood and other ECOWAS member states is growing and we hope it goes further. We hope to export more commodities than only importing more containers for the GPA to expand its operations,’’ Secka concludes.