By Dawda Faye
Amat S. Cham, the finance director of NAWEC today appeared before the Janneh Commission in connection to NAWEC’s bond.
He testified that he started working at NAWEC as the finance director since 2015, noting that they had the Gunjur Water Supply and Kotu Ring. He said they had three contractors on these projects.
Mr. Cham told the commission that in 2014 the company had a debt of $64.2 million and that the company owed Euro Africa Group the sum of $62,212,287.89. He further told the commission that they owed some money to ECOBANK, BSIC Bank, Guaranty Trust Bank , Trust Bank and ACCESS Bank, stating that the total sum they owed to the commercial banks was D347,523,966.
He further adduced that they had several meetings to settle the debts, noting that it was realised that Euro Africa Group owed some commercial banks. He disclosed that they were to restructure the debts between Euro Africa Group and the commercial banks, revealing that the Central Bank was the facilitator.
Mr. Cham told the commission that he attended two meetings, adding that the Central Bank wrote to NAWEC about the exchange rate to be applied, and that there was a balance of D24,000,000 after the offset. He narrated that ECOBANK, BSIC, GTBANK and Trust Bank Ltd. were the parties for the bond, noting that the bond was guaranteed by the Central Bank.
He further stated that Euro Africa Group owed D1,798,717,533 to the commercial banks, and that the same company owed D340,000,000 to Standard Chartered Bank. He testified that the Ministry of Finance wrote a letter dated the 28th of April, 2015, that they had settled a debt totaling $24,188,951.05 owed by Euro Africa Group to Total Company, which was deducted from the $26,000,000 NAWEC owed to Euro Africa Group.
Mr. Cham stated that the total debt they owed to the banks was D2,156,250,500, stating further that energy charge was $28,909,827.32 and there was a capacity charge of $10,824,000.
At this juncture, documents relating to the bonds issued by NAWEC to the commercial banks and other relevant documents were tendered and admitted as evidence.
Mr. Mustapha Corr, former NAWEC official, also testified on skype in relation to Gamtel and NAWEC contracts.