By Binta Jaiteh
The National Assembly select committee on agriculture and rural development has engaged the Ministry of Agriculture and Gambia groundnut cooperation on the procurement processes of fertilizer.
Speaking at the National Assembly seating in Banjul, Honourable Yaya Sanyang, chairperson of the committee said according to the report, plot 1, Z-enterprise to supply 10,000 tons of NPK at a value of D9,655,000.00 (nine million six hundred and fifty-five thousand), that the company met a contract requirement.
He said, after reviewing the letter, they realized that there were discrepancies and the amount sent to GPPA for approval for Z- enterprise to supply was 10,000 metric tons, but the contract documents signed indicated that the company was to supply 7,000 metric tons.
“The researchers made some points and I personally reviewed the document and realized that most of the processes were done by GPPA and they are not present and it will be deemed to sit with them as stakeholders and discuss the matter,” Honourable Sanyang said.
“What comes to my mind is what value we get from this procurement process as a country and a government. If I am to construct that in my view, we did get any value from this process even if we have is very minimal and unfortunate,” he told members at the National Assembly.
He added that, it is high time they distinguished between buying and procurement, and that they need to be specific at all times as procurement is a process, but not a performance, especially an amount that went up to 11 million Dollars. However, he said the process of the Ministry of Agriculture and its related ministries were not able to distinguish between procuring and buying, added that the amount was very high.
“I want to engage the GPPA on why they approved a restricted tender, for this tender according to report six, companies were solicited and the contract was awarded in two years. There was a renewal of the contract to the same contractor, but the process that led to that renewal was not seen and another thing that disturbed me is some of the companies did not supply the government of the Gambia with fertilizer before and what makes them be awarded by the contract? In the document, it was clearly stated that we need to set our criteria when evaluating,” he enquired.
Muhammad Njie, Managing Director for Gambia Groundnuts Corporation (GGC), said “the GGC is mandated to buy fertilizer on behalf of the country, but when we secure the fund from the Bank to buy the fertilizer due to the magnitude of the funds, we need the approval of the government”.
“If you look at history, fertilizer was arriving late in the past, but in 2021 when we look at the international market price, because of the pandemic the prices were high and we deemed it necessary to engage the government,” he said.