Sep 5, 2008, 6:45 AM
(Monday, 08th February 2010 issue)
The National Assembly Public Accounts and Public Enterprises committees have been told that the lack of enough transport is retarding the delivery of postal services countrywide.
This was said recently by Momodou Ceesay, the Director General of Gampost, in responding to the questions raised by members of the two committees sitting jointly in Banjul, to receive the annual activity reports and audited financial reports of public enterprises.
Mr. Ceesay explained that they have new plans to provide postal services of international standards, but due to transport constraints this could not materialise.
"What we want to have in place are mobile post offices, whereby every week a mobile van will go to certain areas. It will be announced on radios and other media that on date so and so a postal services van will arrive at a particular place, either in the market or any public place for people to receive their mails," he said.
He added: "This is in the pipeline, but as I mentioned, the shortage of vehicles is what is hampering this prospect. Yet we are conscious of the need to have an effective means of delivering mail in the provinces, but this for the moment is only possible in the Greater Banjul Area."
He told the committees that it was "due to financial constraints" that Gampost is not able to adhere to some of the recommendations made by the auditor and others.
According to Mr. Ceesay, Gampost pays monthly fees to Board Members as stipulated by the government in which the Chairman receives D2, 000 and the other members D1, 500 a month. He said they also give out donations to students and football teams across the nation to encourage them, just like Gamtel with a ward in the RVTH and the Jammeh Foundation for Peace, among others.
However, the Minority Leader expressed his concern about the manner in which Gampost goes about implementing its sponsorship programmes, even though the management complained of financial constraints.
"I have few concerns, that I want an explanation for, Madam Speaker. On page 6 of the management letter, the Auditor talked about Gampost, and recommended that fire and burglar proof material should be provided. And in their management response, what they said was that due to financial constraints they were unable to adhere to the recommendations. However, we made provision for this in the 2010 budget."
He further stated: "Going on to the profit and loss account, Gampost being relatively a new institution or a new company, I saw under donation, Madam Speaker, that for 2007 it was D122, 000, which was donated out and, in 2008, it was D181, 097 put under donation. I'm not saying that they should not give out donations, but being a relatively new institution, I am of the view that the amount of money that was put down for donation in 2008 was on the high side.
"Since they cannot provide burglar proofs for the safety of their own money, because of the financial implications, I see no reason why they should give out a donation of that amount," he concluded.
Gampost Director-General Momodou Ceesay, Phoday Jaiteh, the Senior Finance Manager and Gibril Gibi Chorr Chairman of the Board represented Gampost before the National Assembly committees.