By Baba Sillah
The former finance minister, Musa Bala Gaye yesterday faced the Janneh Commission for the second time to explain matters relating to Gam Petroleum and Euro Africa Group among other issues during his tenure as minister.
Mr Gaye was asked to explain the role he played in the involvement of some of the public enterprise investment in Gam Petroleum which was owned by a Lebanese Belgian business investor, Muhammad Bazzi and others.
Mr Gaye said the decision for the investment was from the office of the president but whether it was right or wrong is debatable which he did not intend to enter into.
According to him, the ministry received directive from the office of the president asking them to write to SSHFC to buy 20% share in Gam Petroleum which he did and the evaluation of the share was 7 million euros.
However, he claimed that the issue of evaluation was another decision and had advised the enterprises how to go about the decision.
As a minister, Mr Gaye went further to explain his relation with the president saying that depending on circumstances and if the president sought his advice, he would have done it but that was not the case in this matter.
From the ministry’s point of view in acquiring shares in the storage facility, Gaye said that was a good and intelligent decision, noting that petroleum price is a very difficult area.
Mr Gaye further told the inquiry that he did not have meeting with the public enterprises in acquiring shares in Gam Petroleum nor did he know whether the exiled former President Yahya Jammeh had vested interest in the company.
On the exclusivity supply of oil granted to Euro Africa Group, he asserted that this was contracted before he was appointed as minister but was renewed once during his tenure and therefore he would not know much about the contract.
Mr Gaye also told the inquiry that the ministry during his time was not involved in the pricing of the fuel, further stating that the supply of generators by Global Trading Group to Nawec was a directive from the office of the president.
Sittings continue next week.