‘I was not involved in the financing arrangement for the generators’

Thursday, May 10, 2018

Mr. Baba Fatajo, the managing director of NAWEC, yesterday told the Janneh Commission that he was not involved in the financing arrangement for the generators which were supplied to the company.

He appeared in connection to NAWEC contracts and other related issues.

Prior to testifying, he gave a synopsis of his career at NAWEC, starting from 1993 but was dismissed in 2013 and was later reinstated in March, 2017.

Mr. Fatajo told the commission that from 2000 to 2001, NAWEC had a contract for the provision of generators with Global Trading Group which he said was in two phases which included the supply of generators G 7 and G8 respectively, noting that in 2005, there was a purchase agreement between Global Trading Group and NAWEC for four generators (G1, G2, G3 and G4) at Brikama.

He told the commission that in 2009, NAWEC got a loan leased facility for the installation of a Power Plant at Brikama; adding that they could not get the amount for 30 Mega Watt.

Mr. Fatajo further stated that the first phase at Brikama was a 9 Mega Watt plant, noting that there was another contract between NAWEC and Global Trading Group for the provision of generators which were G5 and G6 respectively which he said were provided.

According to him, NAWEC had a problem and it attracted an additional funding in 2009, disclosing that the installation of the generators was not complete. He told the commission that they had a generator at Kotu (11 Mega Watt Plant) whose construction started in 2016 and was co-funded by BADEA and OPEC. He added that this project was awarded to a consortium.

However, he said the other project was 20 Mega Watt which was the second project funded by the Islamic Development Bank (IDB) and it started in February, 2018; adding that the contract was awarded in 2016.

At this juncture, Counsel Bensouda asked him whether Batchy Baldeh was the MD of NAWEC in 2001, which he confirmed. He further revealed that he deputized the Generation Manager Tijan Bahum, when he travelled.

Mrs. Bensouda further asked him whether they were involved in the implementation of contracts. In response, he said he was not involved in the negotiation of the contracts. He added that Muhammed Bazzi signed on behalf of Global Trading Group while Batchy Baldeh signed on behalf of NAWEC.

At this point, documents relating to the contracts were given to him and he went through them. Other documents relating to the commissioning of an engine were also given to him to go through, and it was put to him by Counsel Bensouda that the price for a total of 18 Mega Watt was $15,686,000 which he confirmed.

Again, Counsel Bensouda informed him that there was an allegation before the commission that some generators which were bought by NAWEC were not new ones, and he replied that one could verify with the manufacturer.

At this juncture, documents relating to some generators provided by Global Trading Group and other relevant documents were tendered and admitted in evidence.

Mr. Fatajo was asked by Counsel Bensouda whether he was involved in the financing arrangement of the generators and he answered in the negative.

According to him, there was a shortfall in the budget as stated in the minutes of meeting, amounting to over $2,000,000. However he was quick to add that he had to establish whether the $12,000,000 was the actual cost of the project. He added that he also had to establish whether the project was funded by the Republic Taiwan.

Mr. Fatajo further explained that a contract dated 1st August, 2001, was signed between NAWEC and Global Trading Group for the importation of heavy fuel, and on the 26th of July, 2002, GTG and NAWEC signed another contract and Mr. Muhammed Bazzi signed on behalf of GTG and witnessed by Mr. Amadou Samba, while the former managing director of NAWEC, Mustapha Corr, signed on behalf of NAWEC.

He further testified that Baba Jassey, NAWEC’s financial director, signed as witness for NAWEC. He revealed that there were other contracts dated 2nd and 30th of July, 2007, between the same companies. He said there was a facility from the ECOWAS Commission but could not remember those who were involved in the project.

Sitting continues on the 21st of May, 2018. 

Author: Dawda Faye