By Mama A. Touray
The Basses Area Council (BsAC) owed Longjiam Company D454,380 for bridges and roads that the company built for the council, revealed Ming Wang at the Local Government Commission earlier this week.
Wang informed the commission that he was an interpreter with Longjiam during their contract negotiations with the BsAC as, according to him, the company was just a new entrant to the Gambian market.
He explained that Longjiam built bridges and roads for the BsAC but that the council defaulted on the payment. Wang told the commission that he was assigned to collect the money but that when he went to the council, he was told that there was no money.
Earlier, the proprietor of Alkamba Stores General Construction and Suppliers, EbrimaL.S. Marena, informed the commission that he was, in 2022, awarded a D2,418,518 contract by BsAC for the rehabilitation of an old market.
“After I was awarded the contract, nothing happened. I did not hear anything from them although I did some follow-ups but nothing happened. No further steps were taken, meaning the contract was never executed,” Marena said.
He testified that the market is still dilapidated, saying he cannot tell why the project was not implemented.
Marena explained that the documentationnecessary for the project, including the billing,was all given to the council.
“On 5 March 2022, I received a message from the procurement officer Muhammed Jawneh,which read: “Hello my boss, Good morning, and how are you and the family? Hope you are doing great. Yesterday, we met as a contract committee and evaluated the bid submitted by the contractors. Therefore, for your information after scrutiny, Alkamba Stores emerged as the winner. Till on Monday, bye. Jawneh.”
Marena informed the commission that he was never paid as agreed because the project was not executed.
He said the Alkamba Stores is a sole proprietorship established in 2012 and primarily operates in Basse.