By Nelson Manneh
The Gambia Ports Authority (GPA) has on Monday, 2nd March 2020 presented its activity reports and financial statements for the year end 31st December 2017 to the Public Enterprise Committee (PEC) of the National Assembly.
The GPA presented the activity report and financial statement of the ferry services for the year ended 31st December 2017.
Halifa Sallah reminded the Members that they have gathered for a purpose and it was important for them to reflect on that purpose prior to the presentation of the reports.
“We are here based on a constitutional mandate, section 175 of the constitution subsection 4 makes it obligatory for the National Assembly to establish a committee, whose role is to make sure that all public enterprises are accountable to the National Assembly and the committee should also monitor the operations of all public enterprises to ensure that they adhere to the principle of efficiency and transparency,” he said.
The Chairman of PEC added that public enterprises are to submit their annual reports and financial statement within three months of the end of the financial year, but the provision also added that the committee has the mandate to extend the time for the submission of the report.
“We experience a backlog in the submission of reports and had to cover the backlog in order to have a fair view of the state of affairs of each enterprise which will enable the committee to accompany the enterprises towards a greater viability,” he said.
He said it is the duty of the committee to review reports and financial statements and to visit institutions in order to make sure that what is provided in the report will also be confirmed on the ground, but they are not able to do that work by virtue of the fact that they are yet to be able to put an end to the backlog.
Mr. Ousman Joberteh the Managing Director GPA said their report gives an overview about the ownership structure of the Gambia ferry services company which is a legal entity of its own with 80% ownership by the Gambia Ports Authority and 20% by the government through the Ministry of Finance.
The MD said the ferry services provide various services around the river Gambia and two of the most important crossing points are the Trans Gambia at the YelliTenda-BambaTenda and the Banjul -Barra crossing point.
“In 2017 in terms of performance the total operating revenue raised from 240 Million in 2016 to 265.6 Million Dalasis in 2017 which is an increase of 11% during the period under review, he said.
He said gross profit increased from 145.5 Million in 2016 to 168.3 Million Dalasis in 2017 and the loss after tax also increased from 0.9 Million to 8.4 Million Dalasis in 2017and the results were due mainly to the increase cost of the insurance of the ferry.
“In terms of numbers, the number of passengers ferried across the country in 2017 was 4.2 Million and of which 2.6 were crossed through the Banjul Barra and 1.4 from the Trans Gambia and the remaining from ether provincial stations,” he said.
In terms of vehicular traffic, he said two hundred and ninety five thousand and thirty seven vehicles were crossed along the river which showed an increase of 2674 vehicles when compared to the previous year.
“Our Banjul and Barra alone accounted for one hundred and sixty five thousand and one hundred and thirty six vehicles and the Trans Gambia eighty six thousand, seven hundred and seven vehicles and the rest on the provincial stations,” he said.
Mr Ismaila Wadda the Director of Finance at the GPA then took the members through the financial statement in which he outlined some of the key areas of the financial statement and also explained the achievements made by the ferry service in the year under review.
Mr. Ebriama Jadama the representative of the external auditors read out to the members some of the observations and recommendations made by the external auditors during the auditing process.
The management also responded to the issues raised by the external auditors.