By Omar Bah
The Brikama Area Council yesterday passed a resolution recommending the immediate removal of its CEO Modou Jonga, for alleged incompetence and abuse of office.
The council relied on Section 45 of the Local Government Act 2002 to initiate the resolution.
The resolution alleged CEO Jonga’s willful negligence and dereliction of duties, which it states resulted in the loss of thousands of dalasis in daily market duty collections between 21-25 October 2023.
“The market sub-committee of the council has informed the office of the chairman that there were no daily duty collections from all the markets in the West Coast Region from the 21-25 October 2023 due to lack of GTR Tickets. This was a huge loss of revenue to the council considering the fact that we struggled to pay salaries in September,” the resolution added.
The council said there is no justification for the negligence on the part of the CEO, as the council should have had a re-ordering level, which once reached, all efforts ought to have been made to ensure that more tickets are printed in advance.
“For council to continue for more than four days without GTR to collect such badly needed revenue was quite simply unacceptable. Furthermore, neither the chairman’s office, as the head of council, nor the finance and audit subcommittee of the council were ever informed prior to the GRT running out, until they ran out, which is completely unacceptable,” the council resolution noted.
It added: “Even after being informed of this issue, the CEO was not concerned, as the only payment he requested to be approved as of October 20, 2023, a day before the tickets ran out on October 21, 2023, was for the servicing of his official vehicle and others, while leaving the issues of the market GTRs unresolved. Thus, it is reasonable to deduce that the CEO has deliberately suppressed our council’s revenue in order to cripple the council.”
According to the resolution, the CEO is responsible for the day-to-day performance of the executive and administrative functions of the council and the implementation of all its decisions.
The resolution stated that the CEO informed the finance and audit committee, which was assigned to investigate the issue of GTRS, that he was not aware that the GTRS ran out for almost four days.
“Such an admission proves that the CEO is incompetent to run the council,” it added.
The council said its chairman was informed by GPPC director Momodou Ceesay that BAC had, since May 2, 2023, ordered 5,000 daily market duty receipt booklets but only collected 2000, and the remaining 3,000 are still there.
“When our chairman compared that with KMC, he realised that the municipality regularly orders 5,000 ticket booklets per month and 60,000 per year.
“He was baffled about how BAC could be using 2,000 tickets for almost five months,” the council added.
It further stated that its chairman, during his discussion with the GPPC director, realised that the council has been using different types of receipt booklets for the collection of market duty.
“This means that the council was using GTR tickets that were not procured from the GPPC,” it added.
When contacted for comments, CEO Modou Jonga said, given the severity of the allegation, he would want to have an exclusive interview with The Standard today on the matter, as he wanted to respond to every bullet point raised in the council resolution.