By: Sariba Manneh
The Public Enterprise Committee of the Assembly (PEC) has quizzed officials of the National Water and Electricity Company (NAWEC) on what it has described as the huge expenditure spent on the inauguration of the Kiang West Electrification project.
The PEC sought clarity on the project on Thursday, 12th October 2023, during the consideration of the company’s activity reports and financial statements that was laid before the committee during the previous interfaces with entities under its remit.
During the interface, the committee engaged the company on the said expenditure, seeking clarifications on the project value estimated by the company. It described the inauguration as a huge expenses incurred by the company.
Dilating on the said expenditure which amounted to D1.5 Million, the officials of NAWEC clarified that out of the said amount, only D750, 000.00 was used for the event in 2020.
This, according to the Member for Kiang West, Lamin Ceesay, was exorbitant in view of the fact that the said inaugural event lasted just 2 hours, arguing that spending that huge amount was not necessary. He sought further clarification from NAWEC to explain how the money was utilized.
Dilating on the issues, NAWEC officials explained that in 2020, they inaugurated the first electrification project in Kiang, which was funded by India and the project was commissioned on 2020.
“We, the Ministry of Petroleum and Energy teamed up together and formed a taskforce for the inauguration of that particular project. The amount that we contributed to the inauguration is what is stated in the financial statement”, said NAWEC.
According to them, the project was coordinated by the Permanent Sectary at the Ministry of Energy at the time, and NAWEC contributed towards the commissioning of the projects.
The Ministry of Energy, as NAWEC explained, also contributed the same amount the electricity company paid and when they asked for the receipts, the Ministry told them the money has been used for mobilization.
Hon. Ceesay also asked NAWEC to state what further follow ups were made at the level of the board to ensure that these funds are accounted for.
According to NAWEC, efforts are ongoing to recover the funds and that going forward, they have learnt from the event and that the issues will be averted in the future.