Saturday, April 1

Former Auditor General Says Securiport Contract is a Scam

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Karamba Touray, Former Auditor General of the Gambia

By Buba Gagigo

The former Auditor General of the Gambia and head of the National Audit Office, Karamba Touray, appearing in a special interview on Kerr Fatou, has described the Securiport contract with the Gambia Government as a scam.

“But the fact is that, for me, the moment I looked at it, I said this is a scam” he said of the Securiport deal with the Gambia government.

In an extensive interview that lasted for a little over an hour, the former Auditor General made mention of an occasion they [Auditors] were summoned to State House after their audit report on the Securiport contract was published.

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“We were summoned to the State House. Then, they were looking for ways on how they can mitigate the report from my conversation with them and the president was there himself. And my advice to them was “scrap this”. But that was something that they were not considering, they were seeing how best they can fit it into the system. That was very clear from that meeting, and that was the last time we were invited there for a meeting,” he told Kerr Fatou.

The former Auditor General argued that the Securiport is not adding any value to the airport except for collecting money from people and added that their role can be taken over by upgrading the immigration at the airport

“Apart from taking money from people, what value is it adding? The purpose of Securiport as the name implies, should be based on security reasons. What they need is to upgrade the immigration database to include this facet,” he suggested.

He highlights a number of issues with Securiport while also questioning the security of personal data they are collecting from the traveling public.

“They are taking people’s detailed information.  Who gets access to that? How do we guarantee that they are not sharing the information? Who keeps that information? What controls are there? The fact is that this is a scam. Initially they wanted ten years and the attorney general advised that they should reduce it to five years, but now they increased it to fifteen years (By the office of the president). 

“The reason was that since the signing of the contract, they have not been able to receive revenue, implementation whatever and that’s why they increased it to fifteen years. That’s why we queried, why are they paying this D149million? Because of the delay, they are claiming D149million for doing nothing. They went ahead and paid that money. It is an unnecessary burden that the government put the country through. They are not doing anything beneficial for us apart from collecting money,” he said.

Mr. Touray said these kinds of services are available in other countries and the provisions are free of charge. “As far as the office of the president is concerned, we (National Audit Office) are the problem, that we are raising unnecessary questions,” he concluded.

The former Auditor General Karamba Touray made these remarks during his special interview with Kerr Fatou on Monday.

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