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Saturday, July 13, 2024

NAWEC ex-MD explains

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By Baba Sillah

The former managing director of Nawec, Mustapha Corr yesterday continued to give evidence before the Janneh Commission via a video conference from his base in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia.
Mr Corr spoke on wide range of issues bordering on contracts as well as the state of the national power energy company, Nawec among other related matters.

Mr Corr said he started work at Nawec from 1996 to 2001 until he left in 2004, stating that the company was incorporated in 1996 and partnered with lot of utility companies.
However, he said he was not aware of the involvement of former president in the affairs of Nawec during his career from 1996 to 2001.

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Mr Corr, who was also appointed as the general manager of GNPC, also confirmed loan from Taiwan as a supply of three generator sets for the national power energy company.
According to him, by the time he had discussion with Mr Bazzi regarding the generators was in 2001 and by then, he said Mr Conteh the then MD was not in the office.
According to him, Utility Holding Company had some management contract for the running of Nawec, further stating that UHC took over from Management Services Gambia Limited which also took over from Gambia Utilities Corporation.

Asked about the involvement of Samuel Sarr in the contract for the supply of fuel to Nawec, he responded that the last time he heard about Mr Sarr was when there was a contract with Nawec and Gampower. However, he said the contract was terminated, adding that he did not know whether Mr Sarr had a share in Sordium Company [French company].

Further testifying, he stated that they were trying to have operation capacity at Kotu, and that they finalised 6 mega watt generators when Alagie Conteh was the MD, which he said took time before they acquired them.
Mr Corr disclosed that when he took over as MD, the contract of 18 mega watt generator was between Global Trading Group and the former government.

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At that juncture, he was reminded that testimonies revealed that the generators were not brand new but he said Nawec was not represented at the testing of the said generators and he was told that they were new.
Counsel Bensouda asked him whether there were other suppliers other than Global Trading Group. He said there was a negotiation between the former government and Shell Company.But he however said that he would not know the financial arrangements for the three generators.

Mr Corr informed the commission that the contract between GTG and the former government was signed by the office of the former president and the Ministry of Finance.
It was put to him by Counsel Bensouda that $10.8 million was paid out for the supply of generators, and he stated that he signed agreement for the rehabilitation of a plant in the Greater Banjul Area with GTG which was about $14 million.

Mr Corr adduced that a French company called Sodium was approached for the transmission of the plant, and that they did the master plan for Nawec which was a grant.
At that juncture, Counsel Bensouda put it to him that $25 million which included $14 million contract and also there was $25 million from which $10.86 million should have been refunded to GTG. In response, he explained that he could not recall but there were payment schemes which were made by the former government.

It was also put to him that on 25 July 2001 there were minutes indicating that there was $12 million budget which he confirmed.
He further told the inquiry that he signed with GTG for fuel supply, and this was due to circumstances at the office of the former president which sent the contract to GTG to sign with Nawec.
He was reminded that the storage capacity need in Banjul should have been resolved, and he said there was 3% mark-up for the price of storage tank.

Mr Corr informed the inquiry that there was a letter from the office of the former president which he received in September, 2004, indicating that he was appointed GM of GNPC, adding that the said company was newly set up at the time, so that he could help with the management but his service was terminated by the office of the former president because he wanted to go on leave.
He finally told the commission that they were openly able to negotiate with other companies, and this was why there was not much interference of the office of the former president.
Sitting continues today.

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