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City of Banjul
Sunday, April 21, 2024

Mayor vows to remove ‘incompetent’ staff from payroll

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By Tabora Bojang

Banjul Mayor Rohey Malick Lowe has vowed to remove some senior staff at Banjul City Council who are deemed to be “incompetent” by the National Audit Office from council’s payroll.

She told NAMs that the staff members who include a director and senior officials were considered unfit by an audit exercise conducted by the NAO four years ago.

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According to her, the BCC then recommended that these staff members be moved to other positions in the council where they would be useful but they refused to comply.

Appearing before the Assembly Finance and Public Accounts Committee on Tuesday, Mayor Lowe said the council has written to both the Local Government Service Commission and the Ministry of Local Government to no avail.

“We have been battling this case for four years. We have transferred these people to some other positions that we think they can be useful but still they are not there and the council is still paying them. I want to make it very clear here that I am going to take this fight up to the court level. I have decided that we are going to take them off our payroll and when we do that then the service commission will come to us and ask and then we will start with the Office of the Ombudsman and then go to the courts for them to decide because we have the findings. We are armed with the report of the National Audit Office. For four good years they refused to move an inch and now they are nowhere, just sitting down and we are paying them.

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“That cannot continue and whatever happens at the councils, people blame it on the mayor. Even if a butut is missing, they will not blame the CEOs or the finance directors but they blame the mayors,” Lowe lamented.

She also expressed her displeasure at the practice of reshuffling senior staff including CEOs and finance directors when they are adversely mentioned in audit reports for being involved in dubious practices.

“What is the use of the NAO? It means people [in office] can do anything they want and the minimum they can face is to be transferred. This is really painful. I cannot sit down and watch this. It means I am not doing justice to my institution,” she added.

Mayor Lowe further intimated before NAMs that there are a lot of issues happening at the BCC all of which will come to light after audit reports are released.

Chairman of the National Assembly Select Committee on Local Government, Sulayman Jammeh, urged the mayor to put the concerns and evidences in a missive to his committee for action.

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