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Barrow receives report on Nawec’s performance

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Press release

President Adama Barrow Wednesday received the Commission on State-Owned Enterprises and the National Water and Electricity Company – NAWEC’s Board and management on Wednesday at his office.

The Commissioners, led by Chairman Mr. Ousainou Ngum, presented the results of their assessment of NAWEC’s performance for 2021-2022. The evaluation included NAWEC’s financial, technical, operational, and management performance during the review period. The Commission determined that NAWEC only achieved 30% and 20% of the targets set for its Key Performance Indicators in 2021 and 2022, respectively.

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The Executive Secretary, Mr. Bai Madi Ceesay, informed the meeting that they used 2017 as a baseline for the Key Performance Indicators. The Chairman offered NAWEC the opportunity to sit and devise strategies to address some of the challenges for better performance.

In response to the report, President Barrow stated that the work of the SOE Commission is a good starting point for holding institutions accountable, which is a key part of his administration’s public sector reform agenda. While acknowledging NAWEC’s challenges, President Barrow emphasised the importance of the institution taking ownership of its performance and not making excuses. Recognising NAWEC’s recent efforts, the President instructed the Commission to implement its recommendations while taking into account the steps NAWEC has taken in recent times.

The Commission will reduce the salaries of NAWEC staff by 5% for not meeting the Key Performance Indicators (KPI) targets set for 2021-2022. The SOE Commission will fully implement the next appraisal recommendations considering the support NAWEC is currently receiving from the Government of The Gambia and Partners. The top management is advised to take the challenges seriously, as electricity is crucial to the lives of the people, and the promise to deliver must be upheld.

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The officials of MAWEC argued that using 2017, as a baseline for assessment, was not fair because NAWEC did not have audited accounts for that year and faced a difficult transition. The former Managing Director and current Minister of Petroleum and Energy, Honourable Nani Juwara, stated that using the figures from 2022 would provide a fairer baseline, considering the current situation and system improvements. He expressed hope that a good foundation has been established for better performance.

The current Managing Director, Gallo Saidy, stated that they have accepted the decision and pledged to work harder with his team for better performance. He emphasised that the presence of the senior management serves as a testimony for everyone to take responsibility for improving the company’s performance.

The Finance Minister, Honorable Seedy Keita, praised the SOE Commission and emphasised that NAWEC has a significant economic impact on the country, affecting the cost of living and posing other fiscal risks. Therefore, everyone must support the transformation.

In February 2023, President Barrow presided over the signing of Performance Contracts with State-Owned Enterprises (SOEs) to tackle the underperformance of some of the SOEs. After the SOE Bill was passed and the SOE Commission was established, notable Gambians with expertise in various fields were appointed to help the SOEs enhance their service delivery performance.

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