By Buba Gagigo
Gambian Civil Servants have been over paid this month (November), but those at commercial banks are not able to access their account, which a lot Gambians attribute to the hacking incident at the Central Bank of the Gambia.
“I was paid D643, 975 but my account is restricted now. I can’t access the money,” a civil servant, Ismaila Fadera told Kerr Fatou.
Another civil servant who wants to remain anonymous told Kerr Fatou: “I was paid almost D300, 000 but I guess those with GTBank are the ones affected. Right now I don’t have access to my account.”
A Central Bank staff who prefers anonymity confirmed the news and attributed the problem to an upgrade on the banks system or the hacking of the Central Bank earlier this month.
“The system is having issues, and it’s doing the wrong postings. Some are paid D1m, some D2.5m. That’s what is happening. So it’s like the system has not recovered from what happened in the past (The Hacking). But I think they have authorised the commercial Banks not to pay anybody, until they regularize it.
“As far as I know, it’s the salary account (Current Account) for the civil servants. And I am made to understand that the treasury also is facing a similar challenge. There are two factors, it might be linked to the hacking; but it might also be linked to the upgrading of the system. Right Now, experts are working on that,” he said.
He said it is not the first time that such happened in The Gambia, saying a similar incident occurred about two or three years ago.
The anonymous source revealed that the Governor of the Central Bank ‘is very touched’ by what happened, but blamed the banking department “for not doing their job”.
Asked whether all the accounts affected are frozen, he replied: “Yes. They (government) have told the commercial Banks not to pay anybody until they regularize it. Salaries should have been paid last Friday (25th November 2022). But up to now, some people are not paid. The entire civil service is affected. The Central Bank, we have about 300 staff on the payroll, but it’s the entire civil service. I think it is safe to say that it is related to the hacking and the government is downplaying this thing.”
When contacted for comments, the deputy government spokesperson, Prince Bubacarr Aminata Sankanu said he is not aware of the issue, but promised to get back to us when he gathers information on the matter.
This a developing story, we will update you once we get more details.