By Mama A. Touray
The acting CEO of Basse Area Council (BsAC), Bai Gibbi Sallah, last Monday testified at the Local Government Commission of Inquiry that BsAC was operating seven different bank accounts with different banks, adding that all these accounts were unnecessary.
The acting CEO, however, informed the commission that the council has now trimmed the accounts to three.
Mr. Sallah explained that the BsAC owed Trust Bank over D900,000. He also told the commission that the council owed Supersonicsover D5M whilst it owed Vista Bank over 6MDalasi. The acting CEO stated that the council has deactivated its accounts with Agib Bank, GTbank, and Eco Bank. The council, he further explained, could not close its accounts at Vista Bank and Supersonics because they owed the financial institutions money.
Sallah said the council was working on settling an overdraft of D12,573,845.40.
He adduced that BsAC has a credit balance of over D3 million with Trust Bank, including a D2 million government subsidy.
He explained that the council now uses its Trust Bank account to save its revenue, adding that car park fees were used to offset the council’s deficit with the bank.
Meanwhile, testifying on the problems and technicalities he identified at the council, Sallahsaid: “There were no debtors’ register and no report to guide the council and people are still coming, making claims to the Basse Area Council and it is difficult to ascertain those claims because there is no debtors register.”
The situational report of the Basse Area Council, prepared by the acting CEO, wasmeantime tendered and admitted into the records and marked as an exhibit. The notes that were handed over to the acting CEO by former CEO Ousman Touray were also tendered and admitted into the records.
Testifying on the payroll, CEO Sallah stated that it’s not consistent because the salary paymentmode keeps changing, adding that it’s difficult to know the entire BsAC staff.
“The number of revenue collectors in the book is 25 but when we call meetings, the number that comes is between 10 -15. We cannot ascertain whether the rest exist or work for the council,” Sallah said.
He further testified that the council has salaryarrears for June, July, August, and September.
“We have not paid anything in July, August and September. We just completed the June salaries. The situation at the area council is very difficult. You cannot have control over them,” the acting CEO stated.