The National Audit Report of the Banjul Rehabilitation project 2022 indicates that Gai Construction was awarded the contract for the rehabilitation of roads, drainage, and sewage systems in Banjul amounting to D1.8 billion without tender.
The report said Gai did not go through a tender procedure, instead, it was single-sourced, which requires it to be published in the Gazette but was only Gazetted on the12 February 2021 when works had already started.
The report continues to reveal that the Ministry of Transportation, Works & Infrastructure and Studi International for Africa signed a contract for consultancy services on 14 May 2019 amounting to $1,632,550 which is equivalent to D83, 260,050 for the supervision of an EPC contract for the rehabilitation of roads, drainage, and sewage systems in Banjul. The report stated that the selection of Studi International for Africa to be the consultant for the project did not go through a tendering process, rather it was single-sourced without obtaining approval from GPPA.
On the pre-financing, the report revealed that “the contractor offered to pre-finance the project through the letter of intent dated 3rd September 2018, addressed to the president of the Republic of The Gambia. A credit facility agreement was signed which detailed a payment schedule for six years but was later nullified through an addendum to the initial contract which makes provision for an interim payment.”
“We cannot ascertain the benefit of the pre-financing since 63% of the contract price has already been paid to the contractor, even though critical works are still not completed.”
NAO report further stated that a review of documentation and discussions with officials revealed that the Banjul Drainage, Roads, and Sewage (BDRS) contract was signed on 11 May 2019 and tabled at the National Assembly on 12 June 2019, and was scheduled to be completed by November 2021.
The report says the view of the consultant’s report and inspection of the updated programme of work of the project reveals that actual work commenced on 18 March 2019, two months before the contract was signed and submitted to the National Assembly for discussion in June 2019.
On performance security, the NAO report revealed that during their review of the contract document, they noted from correspondence that legal opinion was sought on the performance security.
“When the Ministry of Works wrote to the Ministry of Justice for a legal opinion, it was made clear to them that the contractor should provide performance security. The Ministry responded by stating that the noninclusion of the performance security was an omission and they will amend the contract accordingly. However, up to the time of writing this report, no amendment was done to include the Performance Security in the contract, and nor was it provided by the contractor.”