Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Highlights of Performance in Some Public Enterprises and Agencies

As Minister Kolley Read the 2010 Budget

The following public enterprises and government agencies were briefly highlighted based on their performance during the year 2009 and was presented by the Minister of Finance and Economic Affairs at the National Assembly during the budget speech that was held on 18 December 2009 at the National Assembly Premise, in Banjul.
For the Gambia Ports Authority, here it goes; the financial performance of the Gambia ports authority in 2008 has been satisfactory. Despite the global economic slowdown adversely affecting major foreign shipping companies, the authority registered a growth of 10.6 percent in traffic throughput from 1.14million MT in 2007 to 1.26 million in 2008.
Turnover decreases marginally from D376 million in 2007 to D373 million in 2008 due to the reduction in the authority’s cargo traffic in 2007. Operating profit increases from D20 million in 2007 to 149 million in 2008 but net profit decreases by 51percent from D77 million in 2007to D38 million in 2008 due to the net exchange losses on external debt services. Gross valve of fixed assets stood at D758 million in 2008 compared to D731 million in 2007.
National Water and Electricity Company (NAWEC), Revenue of the company increased by 4 percent in 2008 to D1.3 million and electricity sales alone accounted for more than 86 percent of the total revenue. The increase in partly due to the existing policy of instilling only payment meters for new applications and replacement of existing credit meters. There is an anticipated loss of more than D200 million for 2008.
Fuel prices in 2008 have negatively impacted on the overall financial performance of the company. Expenditure on fuel and lubricants increased by 98 percent from D241 million in 2007 to D480 million in 2008 while expenditure on energy purchases increased by 29 percent from D639 million. This has led to a worsening liquidity situation making it difficult for the company to meet some of its loan repayments.
Government made a significant payment towards clearing its stock of arrears with NAWEC, the balance to be paid in early 2010, with a commitment to avoid further accumulation of bills. I therefore call on all users of NAMWEC services to promptly settle their bills to enable the company meet its obligations including loan repayment and network expansion. Our drive towards industrialization and transforming the economy of the country cannot be realized without access to affordable and reliable electricity supply. The provision of electricity is capital intensive, and by paying your bills on time, NAWEC will be in a better position to serve us better.
Gambia International Airlines, the turnover of the company decreases by 70 percent from D220 million in 2007 to D65 million in 2008 due to its non participation in the 2008 Hajj.
However, operating result shows a decline in losses from D106.8 million in 2007 to D7.5 million in 2008. For 2010 GIA intends to invest in cargo complex meeting international standards, and modernize the ground handling fleet with a view to providing seamless services at Banjul International Airport.
Asset Management and Recovery Corporation, the corporation generated a total income of D17.4 million in 2008 compared to D14.4 million in 2007, thus generating a net surplus of D2.3 million. The overall performance for 2009 is promising, as at the end September 2009, the corporation realized D13.6 million against a budgeted sum of D13.5 million, indicating that targets are being met. The corporation will continue to engage the Gambia armed forces with the view to resolving the impasse on the boundary of piece of land at old Yundum which is negatively impacting on its performance.
Gambia Civil Aviation Authority, total turnover of the authority as at 31st August 2009 amounted to D89 million with an operating loss of D5 million. Air traffic through the Banjul international airport for the eight month is recorded at 195, 706 passengers a reduction of 7 percent from the 2008 passenger traffic.
The aircraft movement for the period is 2204, a reduction of 17 percent from 2008 figure of 2666, and is envisaged to increase by 10 percent in 2010. It is also projected that cargo throughput will increase by 10 percent in 2009 to 799 tons. In general, economic activity at the Banjul international airport is expected to improve in 2010 with gradual recovery of the world economy and increase in the frequency of Brussels airlines, the introduction of Royal Air Marco and the intention of Delta Air lines to commence operations in the Gambia.
Social Security and Housing Finance Corporation consolidated gross increased from D268.7 million in 2007 to D502.05 million in 2008 while recurrent expenditure increased from D98.7 million to D255.33 million. Thus, the corporation recorded a consolidated net surplus of D971.1 million. The total net Assets grew from D3.09 billion in 2007 to D3.5 billion in 2008.
The number of registered establishments in the federated pension fund (FPS) and the national provident fund (NPF) increased to 79 and 3508 respectively, while employee membership increased to 9124 and 88170. The industrial injuries compensation fund (IICF) registered a total of 11, 144 civil servants and 1,296 local authority employees, and made total compensation payments of D1.79 million against D0.74 million in 2007.
In line with government’s policy to decentralize basic facilities and services, SSHFC embark on the acquisition and banking of prime residential land in all region of the country. To date a total of 15 sites have been acquired including the sites at Faraba -Banta, Kanilai, Soma, Kwinella, and Jappineh.
The housing project at Kanilai is planned for a two phase development, commencing with 350 serviced plots as phase 1, with the provision of 100 percent electricity and water supplies and selected roadwork. It will also construct residential accommodation for both students and staff of the new science academy.
For the national GSM service provider GAMCEL for the past years made success in providing affordable, reliable and cost effective mobile phone service to the Gambian population. In this regard, GAMCEL is implementing various projects to extend the network coverage in the greater Banjul area (GBA) and the rural area.
The BSS software upgrade would enable GAMCEL effectively perform the operations and maintenance of its access network and to provide data services.
In addition to its current access network of 79 cell sites, mostly located in the greater Banjul area, GAMCEL planned to develop 48 additional cell sites to ensure nationwide coverage. The implementation of this project will provide and/or improve coverage in the following areas: Bunding Borehole, Jambur, Upper Salagi, Brikama- Kabafita, Basori, Kalagi, and Bati -Ndar, Sami- Pochongi, Baja kunda and Kumbija.
The planned project also includes the network expansion of 33BTS cell sites with the replacement of the existing legacy mobile switching centre (MSC) WITH 3G technology.
GAMOPST, the year 2010 will mark the fourth year of GAMPOST’S operations as an autonomous body. On inception, GAMPOST formulated a three year strategic plan for 2007-2010.the following targets were achieved as part of this plan (I) provision of western union money transfer services, (ii) internet cafĂ© services at the Serrekunda and Bakau branches, (iv) changed working hours and (v) increase provincial mail delivery service from twice to three times weekly. In 2009, pre-tax profit is projected at D1.835 million from a turnover of D19.439 million.
Gambia Revenue Authority (GRA), has also registered a steady growth in revenue collection since its inception in 2006.revenue collection grew by 18 percent between 2006and 2007 and 1% between 2007and 2008.the same positive trend in revenue growth is expected to continue in 2009.
The HIPC completion point for the Gambia may not have been realized without the revenue reforms introduce by Government which heralded a new dawn in the annals of the revenue administration. This reform initiative and the accompanying legislative reforms has helped strengthened tax administration and improved voluntary tax compliance.
GRA aims to achieve a dual role of ensuring increased domestic revenue mobilization while improving service delivery to our esteemed taxpayers. Recently, the Kanifing tax office next to the Gambia bureau of statistics was inaugurated housing the large taxpayers unit and the Serrekunda and Bakau tax office.
This provides an ideal environment for administering taxes and convenience for the taxpayers. It will also help to decongest the headquarters particularly during the periods for the payment of taxes.
To strengthen tax administration and improve voluntary compliance, the authority continues to introduce modern ICT tools, including, ASYCUDA++ and Gamtaxnet. The ASYCUDA++ is an improved and modernized version of ASYCUDA v2.7 which has now been found inadequate for legitimate trade and efficiency of customs clearance, whilst the government will help enhance efficiency in the collection of domestic taxes.
National Roads Authority (NRA), the Government has made a significant progress in the improvement of the Gambia’s road network. With the completion of the Kerewan-Farafenni road and the Farafenni-Lamenkoto Road, movement of people and goods in the north bank region has significantly improved. With Serrekunda-Mandinaba Road now complete and Mandinaba-Soma in progress, the construction of Sankulay Kunda Bridge is expected to provide a big boost in the road sector.
The Economic Commission (EC) funded roads project is designed to promote regional connectivity. The Mandinaba-Seleti road was inaugurated as part of the 2009 July 22nd celebrations. Barra-Amdali road is almost complete, while Soma-Basse Wellingara and Trans-Gambia road are in progress. These roads will improve accessibility within the Gambia and connectivity with Senegal.
In terms of road maintenance, the conditions of major roads in the Kanifing Municipality, Western and North Bank Regions have been improved. Rehabilitation works is progress Banjul-Serekunda highway. The Gambia’s feeder roads are no exception. The western region feeder roads project funded by the Taiwanese Government has taken care of four important roads in the Foni districts which were all inaugurated as part of the 2009 July 22ndcelerations. The construction of the Brikama-Dumbaya road is due to commence soon.
Gambia Public Utilities Regulatory Authority (PURA) also continues to play an active role in the utility and consumer protection. The Authority rolled out various stakeholder awareness and education campaigns and creates avenues and platforms such as the consumer parliament and a help line (148) for handling consumer complaints.
The promotion of energy efficiency has been made a national issue as a result of PURA’s advocacy, especially in the use of energy-efficient lighting. Also a memorandum of understanding was signed with the department of state for water resources to cooperate in water quality testing, ensuring that drinking water is tasted on a quarterly basis to ensure that it adheres to the WHO standards.
Early this year PURA embark on an electricity and water tariff study with the objective of developing tariff guidelines and models for unbundled generations, transmission and distribution in line with the electricity Act 2005, and to ensure competition and sustainable supply of electricity.
The tariff model the emanated from the study resulted in electricity a price being reduced with effect from 4th November 2009as follows: Industrial customers 19% commercial customer 15% Area councils/central Governments/Agriculture 12% and Residential customers 4%. A similar study is being carried out in the telecoms sector to review the international call charges with the view of reaching a more equitable pricing structure.

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