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NAWEC needs ‘urgent’ reforms to be on sound footing, IMF

Jan 19, 2015, 10:31 AM | Article By: Lamin Jahateh

The International Monetary Fund, IMF, has warned that “urgent reforms are needed” to specifically put Nawec, the National Water and Electricity Company, as well as other public enterprises, on a sound financial footing.

These reforms will also help lessen the strain that Nawec and other public institutions are having on the state budget, said the IMF mission that visited The Gambia from 8 to 14 January 2015 to assess the current state of the economy.

Bhaswar Mukhopadhyay, the IMF mission chief, said in a statement released after the mission that during their discussions with the Gambian authorities, the government has expressed “commitment to a comprehensive restructuring of the energy sector”.

A recent energy sector study by some independent consultants and the World Bank has also recommended that the government has to comprehensively restructure the energy sector.

But the IMF mission said restructuring the energy sector alone is not enough; “similar efforts will be required for a number of other public enterprises” that have recently experienced financial distress to put them on a sound footing.

These restructuring measures are expected to boost the country’s troubled economy, and “restore macroeconomic stability” as a foundation for economic development.

During their last visit to The Gambia, in September 2014, the IMF mission said it would be important to ensure that public enterprises are operated on a sound financial basis, to minimize contingent fiscal risks and provide effective support to private sector activities.