By Yankuba Jallow
The National Assembly Select Committee on Local Government, gave the Banjul City Council a final ultimatum to produce all the necessary Financial and Activity reports to the Committee.
The Financial Report that was previously submitted according to the National Audit Office, is not proper and that Council has a lot of issues to adjust.
In her statement, Ya Kumba Jaiteh, the Deputy Chairperson of the Committee, stated that this is not the first time the BCC has failed to meet the requirement of the Committee, to produce the required reports.
When the sittings commenced, the CEO of BCC Mustapha Bachilly, told the Committee that there is a new activity report submitted to them for consideration; that the first one should be disregarded because it does not have Management’s letter. “The first one we sent is deemed by us as incomplete. That is why we sent a new activity report which is more comprehensive than the previous one,” he said. Deputy Chairperson Jaiteh indicated that the National Audit Office told them that the Financial Report of the BCC is incomplete.
“This is not the second time you did this. The last time you came, you were asked to go back and provide us with the accurate report. This serves as an obstacle to this Committee regarding our oversight functions,” she told BCC representatives.
Bachily, the CEO in his response told the Committee, that this should not be seen as a contempt to the Committee from their side.
Pa Majagne Ndow of the National Audit Office told the Committee, that BCC is required to prepare a financial report which will be in consonant with the Financial and Local Government Manuals but the report presented to them by Council, does not entail this information.
For his part, the member for Bundungka Kunda Constituency in his intervention said the attitude shown by BCC, cannot continue; that they expected the session to continue; that they should consult people if they do not know what to do; that they can even consult the National Assembly on what to do and their doors were open for them.
The Deputy Speaker of the National Assembly who is also a member of the Committee, suggested to the Committee to work with the National Audit Office. Billay G. Tunkara, the Member for Tumana Constituency, said BCC should not see the action of the Committee as a witch hunt. “We have a duty to fulfill,” Tunkara said.
Honourable Sunkary Badjie, the Member for Foni Berefet Constituency, said Council should respect the Financial and Local Government Manual when doing their work; that they should do as much as possible not to fail to produce the needed documents before the Committee, failure of which will grant the Committee to exercise their powers as enshrined in the Constitution. He suggested to them to consult the Ministry of Local Government and Lands on this issue as provided under Section 148 of the Constitution; that the Ministry has an oversight function over Councils.
Alagie Sowe, the Member for Jimara in his intervention, expressed disappointment to the BCC.
“I am very disappointed with the Banjul City Council. Banjul as the capital City of the country, cannot provide the National Assembly with a proper financial report,” he said.
Mayor Rohey Malick Lowe was represented by the Deputy Mayor Omar BJ Touray, and Mustapha Bachilly, the CEO.