As Gambia’s national institutions and structures are crumbling down, largely due to economic recession, the National Water and Electricity Company, (NAWEC), the country’s only power company, has been hard hit by logistics and budgetary constraints, the Freedom Newspaper can reveal. NAWEC is virtually dead, as evident on some of the pictures published here, including staff testimonies during a visit our reporter made to their power station. The firm’s generator engines are completely faulty, while constant load shedding is threatening NAWEC’S services to its customers.
According to NAWEC insiders interviewed by this reporter, the institution has been rendered partly bankrupt—thanks to the dictator’s micromanagement and monopoly of the energy company. NAWEC’S revenue often lands into the hands of Jammeh, while government Departments and prastatals are heavily indebted to the firm, the insider intimated. This the insider went on, has caused a devastating blow on NAWEC’s viability as a power company.
“NAWEC has reached a point that it can’t no longer provide reliable and dependable services to its customers. The firm owes millions of dalasi to the local banks. In addition to that, our machines are old and we do not have the necessary funds to secure new machines. NAWEC can only make money if the State House desist from milking our coffers. NAWEC is Jammeh’s melting pot as far as finances are concerned. This is the institution he relies on to foot his flamboyant lifestyle,” said the insider.
“We now prioritize power distribution in the country. Some communities are not enjoying electricity because we do not have budget to cater for them. The State House, Kanilai, army barracks, police lines, hospitals, and government institutions are on our priority list. Consumers should not waste their money buying cash power because there is no service that we can render in view of the prevailing circumstances,” the insider added.
The International Monetary Fund (IMF) in a recent economic report has urged the Jammeh government to take serious measures in revamping the country’s collapsed energy, transportation and agricultural sectors. The firm observes that for any serious economic growth to take place in Banjul, the aforementioned sectors must be given national priority.
Gambia’s economy has not been doing pretty well for the past year or so. This is largely attributed to the emergence of Ebola, lack of Foreign Direct Investment (FDI), the decline in tourism, and poor agricultural produce.