Commission urged to investigate Bazz over UD$65M agreement

Thursday, May 03, 2018

Former Managing Director Alagie Conteh, of NAWEC who was dismissed as the managing director in 2001, appealed to the commission to investigate the sum of US $65,000,000 agreement between the company and Muhammad Bazzi with regard to the supply of generators among others.

Mr. Conteh, whose evidence centred on the supply of generators, spoke on wide range of issues relating to the company, as well as the monopoly of fuel supply and spare parts to the company by Lebanese- Belgian businessman, Muhammad Bazzi.

He claimed that the operational maintenance of these generators still remains a burden to the company as they could not serve the purpose they were bought for.

He recalled that there was a loan agreement between the governments of The Gambia and Venezuela but he could not tell the commission the amount of the loan.

He accused Mr. Bazzi of complete monopoly over the supply of fuel and spare parts to the company which he said had affected it.

From the technical point of view as an engineer, he advised that it is prudent to assess the ages of the generators but he could not ascertain whether that applied to the three generators supplied to the company at the time he was the managing director.

He also told the commission that Mr. Bazzi’s company is operating at the Boosters Station which he said is owned by NAWEC but he was not paying anything to the company.

At this juncture, he presented some bid opening to the commission to the tune of $9,611,849.57 for the bidding. He also came with documents showing high payments for the said generators which were old.

According to him, Mr. Bazzi made a monthly capacity charge of $721,600 which he said was very expensive.

Bid made by Dabananeh Electrical Company and other relevant documents were tendered and admitted in evidence, as well as a list of NAWEC managing directors, finance directors and chairpersons. Counsel  Bensouda put it to him that there was a loan of US $7.6million and US$ 25,542,000 to the former government and that the US $25,542,000 was for the supply of 6 mega watt generator set. In response, he said there was no supply of such generator.

He further disclosed that he did a handing over  with Batch Baldeh, and at this juncture, Counsel  Victoria Andrews announced her representation for Mr Bazzi and told the commission that she would cross-examine the witness.

He said that the company could not contest the price of $720,000 for the operation of a power plant because there were consequences. 

Mr. Conteh testified that when he took over as the managing director of the company, they had generators such as G6, G3, G11, G1 and G2 respectively.

According to him, they were managing the said generators effectively and the power failure was not frequent as today, claiming that when Mr. Bazzi came, he brought three generators which included generators G7, G4 and G8.

Mr. Conteh argued that some of the generators are still normal but alleged that some of them were dumped after they had no use or value which he said was a burden to the company.

Sanna  Jarju, former chief  of protocol, reappeared on video conference in connection to tax recovery, MRI  presidential project and the gateway accounts.

Sitting continues today.

Author: Dawda Faye