Ten Months of Alpha Robinson’s Leadership – MD Robinson “Hamut Dara” – Part Two
Part Two will talk about Directors Meeting, Corruption and Payments.
You know, MD Robinson and NAWEC has now been high jacked by greedy businessmen, mostly his friends, high school buddies, petty Banjul bourgeois and others whose names we will not mention for now. When he came newly, MD Robinson, was doing fine involving his Directors and having regular meetings with them, bringing roasted groundnuts (lol – ah! a kanyeleng just told us, he used to bring Gerteh Bahal instead) during directors meetings, which may last up to 8:00pm, earning some faithful admirers amongst both the senior and junior staff. He even talks about changing the way NAWEC does business or in his lingo, “it will not be business as usual”.
But when the vultures came hovering and tutored him on how to get huge kickbacks from suppliers and contractors, he abandoned all his directors, except Ms John and few others and stopped all Directors Meeting. The last directors meeting was held sometime in August or September 2019. It is being more than eight months since then. Besides the MD has never organised a Management Meeting where all Directors and some of the Managers are to attend, which has been a tradition in NAWEC, where operational issues affecting the company are brought to the fore. MD Robinson cannot tell you that he has convene any meeting for the last eight months. The few engagements he had are mainly one-on-one and, in most cases, it does not exceed three people. The meetings are mostly held between MD, Maimuna John and Tijan Jobe. Occasionally the Finance Director (FD) may attend the meetings for him to be just informed of payments he has to make otherwise the MD can just go ahead and instruct the banks to pay with or without the involvement of FD. Sometimes, Pateh Sowe the newly minted COOE is given audience by the MD. The ever lying Director of Internal Audit Mr Tijan Williams, Water Consultant Gallo Saidy and Energy Expert – John Jatta are also given minor roles in Robinson’s Administration. The asylum Seekers running away from the immoral, wicked and corrupt Administration of MD Robinson, otherwise known as the “World Bank” Group at the lavish Emporium 3, with their extravagantly furnished offices and their flamboyant and numerous cars and difficult to remember acronyms such as GESP, GERMP, EEP, etc as well as the forgotten refugees on secondment to the OMVG at the Kombo Coastal road, have some minor importance. The DMD, the rest of the other Directors and most of the managers are seen as Saboteurs. The Kanyelengs and the mbojo mbojo staff are of no significance and can go to hell in Robinson’s Administration. After all, in Robinson’s parlance, they are all incompetent and has being mismanaging NAWEC for the past fifty years. Really. MD Robinson is a Joke.
Now with the Director and the Managers side-lined and not involved in any policy issues, MD Robinson with the vultures, high jacked all the major activities of the company and more so the procurement process. With his handpicked Procurement Managers, he dishes out procurement “contracts” to his chosen suppliers, in return for kickbacks. All fuel supplies (either light or Heavy Fuel Oil) contracts go to companies affiliated with Edi Jobe, such as Atlas or Star Oil. Lubricating Oil Supplies go to either Em Holding or AES. Em Holding is just Edi Mass Holding. AES is owned by one Moussa Diouf, a Senegalese national who is known to be very good at inflating prices and buying his way to get contracts.
For the Heavy Fuel Oil Contract, despite instruction from the Board for the MD to re-engaged Castle to resume their (Castle) supply, MD Robinson still wants to deal with this little-known company called Star Oil. Now we know that, this company is been used as a proxy to hide the Edi Jobe connection. He had launched several tenders for the supply of HFO since he became the MD, and in all cases the tenders were won by Castle after an evaluation by a committee set up by him, funnily, the latest one, as recent as two weeks ago. He is doing everything to frustrate the supply of HFO by CASTLE. Castle emerged as the most responsive bidder in the latest tender, followed by GNPC, but he does not want either companies to get the contract for the HFO supplies even trying to find faults with Castle’s offer, sending a memo to the NAWEC management what’s App Group expecting to get support from them. But he was totally disappointed when no one commented on the issue. He was greeted with a deafening silence on the issue. He is even portraying Castle as an appendage of the Bazzy Group or at other times as an offspring of the Lebanese mafia. As they say, if you want to hang a dog, you give it bad name. That is what MD Robinson is doing to castle Oil. This is not to say we the Kanyelengs like Castle Oil. We equally hate them with passion.
Our impressions is that he does not care what the instructions from the Board are, knowing fully well that it is only the President of the Republic who has the powers to remove him, not the Minister of Energy, nor the Board of Directors. You know fuel constitute a huge percentage of NAWEC expenditure and the kickbacks he has been collecting has already made him a millionaire in less than a year of working for NAWEC. He has been frequenting Dakar, Senegal at very short notices prior to COVID-19, mostly a day or two after payments are made to Star Oil, and usually meet up with Edi Jobe anytime he is in Dakar. It is understood that, he has already opened a Bank Account in Dakar.
Recently some staff members have also started following on the MDs footsteps by also involving themselves in dubious activities. The most notorious ones are Maimuna John, the “Group” HR Director and Mr Jobe, the Acting Procurement Manager. The HR Director had at onetime asked the Indian Company erecting poles in Kiang and other areas in the West Coast Region, to complete the house she is building around the Brusubi area. The Indian company was stunned and had to asked people to advise them on how to proceed with this matter. It is also being said that Miss John is involved in most procurement activities now and give contracts to whoever is ready to give her some kickback. Most of the time the prices of the goods/services she procures are excessively inflated. A case in point is the recent procurement of hand Sanitizers and other materials as regards the COVID-19 protection guidelines from MOH and the WHO.
For Mr Jobe, he collected a huge amount of money, as kickback from one Omar Boudibb, the owner of Powercom Mougauw, after they were awarded a contract to supply some materials to NAWEC for which they did not emerge as the most responsive bidder. Mr Jobe overturned the recommendations of the evaluation committee and handed the supply contract to Omar Boudibb in return for the kickback. Mr Jobe also frustrates other suppliers if he is not sure of getting any kick back from them, even after awarding them the contract. He hardly sits in his office. 80% of the time he is supposed to be at work is spent outside the premises of NAWEC doing god knows what.
Gallo Saidy, “tamit”. Does he know what conflict of interest is? After advising NAWEC (read MD Robinson) to install Water Stations at Various locations within the GBA, he in collaboration with MD Robinson gave the contract for the installation of the Water Stations to a company (the Doku Group) in which he, Gallo has overwhelming interest. It is even claimed he owns the Company and is the CEO. The water stations are the blue plastics tanks that you see in town since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic. The project is hastily conceived without much taught. No wonder people are using these water stations to wash their cars and a few of them are within private premises.
Other more junior staff are also copying them and recently, Service Connection for customers have become so chaotic being a free for all to grab some quick cash from desperate customers. Meters allocated to one customer is sold to another who is willing to give some few thousand dalasi. There are instances where customers are not connected after having paid for the service for more than one year. Customers have to either transport the surveyors to their compounds or give them “money for transport” before the survey is done and it also takes forever before customers are issued invoices for payment. Technicians are dealing with some customers to by-pass electricity meters in return for monetary reward. The loss control unit has become very ineffective now and are doing their own thing. Petty thieves are stealing gas oil at the Power Stations and selling to taxi and truck drivers. It is all corruption in NAWEC now. Everybody is “chopping”, and MD Robinson does not care as he is more concern about his own “chopping”. The level of corruption in NAWEC is becoming endemic. And MD Robinson was supposed to be the saviour of NAWEC, but instead he became Lucifer. What happen to “it will not be business as usual”? Most of the field workers have become contractors outside, doing house wiring or plumbing for willing clients, others have become generator repairers. The more ambitious ones have their own mini- companies. For us the Kanyelengs and the mbojo mobojo staff, we just show up at our workplaces mostly very late, sign in, and spend most of the day gossiping, pitying ourselves for having no means of making extra cash and sign out before 3:00pm feeling very dejected.
MD Robinson has become so much distracted by the collection of kickbacks from suppliers and other contractors, that he has not given any considerations to other issues affecting the company.
MD Robinson is not prioritising any other payments. His approach is just to pay for fuel and lubricating oil, get his huge kickback and also pay salaries. That is all for him. Fittings required by the Water Department for service connections or extensions and to repair damaged water infrastructure are not paid for. No wonder leakages of water pipes are very rampant in the GBA. Materials such as breakers, fuses and line taps required for electricity service connections were not paid for until recently. Monies paid by customers for Service Connections have been diverted to pay for fuel supplies under the MDs instruction, despite several refusals by the Finance Director. Counting Machines required by the cashiers, that also detect fake currencies is still waiting for payment.
Spare Parts required to keep the Generators at the Power Stations; running is not paid for. Even stationaries are not paid for. Very soon the Commercial Department will start asking customers to bring A4 paper to get their invoices printed out. The Printers for the monthly bills are not in good other, the payment for the required services are not done and MD Robinson does not care. The Materials required for the servicing of NAWEC vehicles are not procured and thus not paid. MD Robinson does not care. Materials required for building repairs are not done and MD does not care. Cleaning materials are not procured and are not paid for. Accountants and Auditors at head office do not have laptops to do their work effectively. Most of the desktop computers either at the headquarters or at the revenue offices are obsolete or not functioning at all, and the IT Department are exhausted running from pillar to post getting these computers repaired. The network connections to NAWEC revenue offices is very poor, sometimes creating interruption of cash power sales to customers. Safety Gears such as overalls, Safety
Shoes, hard hats etc are not available to technical staff. Even firefighting equipment such as fire extinguishers, CO2 etc are not available at the various NAWEC sites. Again, -what happen to “it will not be business as usual”?
Arrears owed by NAWEC to their suppliers are not being paid and these suppliers are now refusing to give those supplies unless they are paid up front, 100%. All the suppliers are really angry. Some have even threatened to take NAWEC to court, after making several efforts to get the monies owed to them be paid. In fact, the MD is not even granting them audiences to discuss these arrears. We are aware of an incident at MD Robinson’s office involving Lawyer Badou Conteh who appeared at MDs office with a client. We will not go into details on the Badou Conteh case, before we are sued to court.
So, one would ask what MD Robinson has put in place that is impressive, since he came to NAWEC. Nothing.
The Kanyeleng Group
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Editors note: The author’s views do not represent the position of the Freedom Newspaper. Thanks for your kind attention.