By: Kebba AF Touray
The National Assembly Member for Bundungka Kunda and Member of the Finance and Public Accounts Committee (FPAC) has said the Committee’s resolution on the alleged unaccounted COVID-19 media fund still stands.
Hon. Jammeh, who was speaking on behalf of FPAC, said this while responding to questions put to them during a town hall meeting with stakeholders on Saturday, 7 October, organized by the Westminster Foundation for Democracy.
Further responding to questions on the said funds, Hon. Jammeh said the Gambia Press Union statement regarding the unaccounted media fund was discussed as a committee.
“Whatever resolution we agreed emanated from the audit report and this was an audit and basically when there is an audit report, we receive it, peruse it, and enable concerned entities to provide their input and testimonies on such reports,” he said; adding that the GPU and other entities under their purview, which they should hold to account.
According to Hon. Jammeh, these monies were meant for COVID-19 relief benefits and were given to the Gambia Press Union through the Information Ministry as support to media houses.
“Basically, according to the audit report, a special account was opened through the advice of the Gambia Press Union, and the monies were deposited into that account, and they established a Grant Management Committee,” he said.
The Grant Management Committee, according to him, comprised members of the GPU and officials of the Information Ministry, with all disbursements made from that special account.
“Based on the audit report, there was a shortage of over D500,000.00 which could not be accounted for and they do not know how this amount was spent. So as far as the FPAC Committee was concerned, we are not going to respond to the GPU,” he said; stressing that if the GPU has any justification or any material evidence, let them submit it to them. He added that if everything is verified, then they will come back and clarify everything, emphasising the resolution of FPAC stands.”