The Chairman of the Board of Directors at Gambia’s National Road Authority NRA’s Edi A Njie says his Board has been completely side-lined by the Works Minister Bai Lamin Jobe, on some key project contracts that were recently awarded to private contractors without the Board’s knowledge or approval. In a letter dated June 12th 2019, Njie, told Jobe that “ the relationship between your Ministry and the NRA is our first cause of concern as the Ministry continues to give instructions directly to the NRA management to undertake activities without reference to the Board, thus allowing the Board of Directors little room to play its full role in accordance with the NRA Act. in some instances, decisions are taken with contractual implications for NRA without any involvement of the Board as in some of the examples of stated below.”
Njie cited the thirty-five million dollars ($35 million) Banjul sewage, drainage and road project that was awarded to Hadim Gai of Gai Enterprises through single sourcing.
The government had claimed that Gai’s company was going to pre-finance the Banjul project. It says Gai had extended a five-year loan agreement to the regime; though there is material evidence provided to suggests that Gai had the financial means (collateral) to spearhead such a project.
The NRA Board Chairman also cited what he calls “the award of the contract of the weighbridge concession in The Gambia to Afrique Pesage.” The NRA Board Chairman says both contracts were executed without the Board’s involvement.
Njie also says the Work Minister’s stonewalling and undercutting of his Board continued to go unabated.
“Another example is the proposed City-scene Smart Project for introduction of LED streetlights in the Greater Banjul Area GBA which was rejected by the Board and NRA Management, but an instruction was subsequently issued for NRA to proceed with the signing of the contract agreement,” Njie lamented.
Bai Lamin Jobe was head of Gamworks during dictator Jammeh’s rule. He was jailed by the dictator on project related issues, but was later released.
President Barrow hired him Works Minister, following the change of government back in December of 2016. Jobe has been accused of undercutting the NRA Board and Management.
Below is Edi Njie’s protest letter to the Works Minister.