Kerr Fatou Online Media House
with focus on the Gambia and African News. Gambia Press Union 2021 TV Platform OF The Year

NA Standing Committee On Public Enterprise Lays Its Report On SOEs 2022 Bill

0 268
Lamin  J Sanneh The Chairperson Of the Public Enterprise Committee. 

By Ramatoulie Jawo 

The Chairperson of the National Assembly Standing Committee on Public Enterprises  (PEC) Hon. Lamin J Sanneh, on Tuesday 7th March 2023 laid the Committee’s report on the State-Owed  Enterprises Bill 2022 before the General Assembly. 

The Bill titled “State Owned Enterprises Bill 2022” was introduced to the Sixth Legislature during the Fourth Ordinary Session of the  2022 Legislative Year.

As enshrined in the Standing Orders of the National Assembly, on the second reading of the Bill dated 19th December 2022, National Assembly Members debated on the merits and principles of the Bill. 

After the debate, the Bill was read a second  time and it was referred to the Assembly Business Committee for Committal to the 

relevant Committee/Committees as dictated by Standing Order 68. 

The Assembly Business Committee referred the Bill to PEC for scrutiny and report back on its findings to the Assembly.

Laying the report before the Members of the Assembly, the Chairperson of the Committee Hon. Lamin J. Sanneh, said they convened its initial meeting on the 16th of January, 2022 to strategize and identify the way forward to fulfil its mandate as prescribed by Standing Order 69 which provide the procedural guidelines on scrutinizing a Bill referred to a Committee.

“As a matter of best practice, the Committee considered it prudent to call the mover of the Bill and team as the first witnesses to provide evidence and clarify issues raised on the Bill. The Committee together with the Ministry also identified sector experts who also reviewed and gave their views and opinions on the Bill. 

“The Committee also took note Of Acts governing SOEs in other jurisdictions for comparative analysis. Finally, the Committee invited all the commercial-oriented SOEs before it to give evidence and provide position papers on the subject matter,” Hon. San eh said. 

Hon. Sanneh further told the Assembly that the report indicates the mandate of the Committee and provides a summary of the evidence gathered from the witnesses and indicates all the proposals for amendments, clause by clause for approval or otherwise, at the Consideration Stage of the Assembly.

The Chairperson also highlight the Object of the Bill saying is “to enhance the performance of the State-Owned Enterprises through improved corporate governance and financial oversight.” 

“Its objective is to establish the State Owned Enterprise Commission, to enable the establishment of state-owned enterprises; to make provision for the efficient governance of State Owned Enterprises and the monitoring of their performances; to make provision for the restructuring of state-owned enterprises; to provide for the appointment of boards of State Owned Enterprises; to define their powers, duties and functions; and to improve efficiency and profitability and to make provision for connected matters,” he said.

Hon. Sanneh said the Bill has taken cognizance of the fact that SOEs in The Gambia has been characterized by major weaknesses in the areas of governance. Which he said includes a lack of profitability, low-quality service delivery, inefficient internal structures, and inadequate capacity. 

Hon. Sanneh said the oversight In light of the above, the Bill seeks to improve the performance of the SOEs; improve their financial viability by reducing fiscal risk; strengthen the monitoring and oversight of SOEs and enforce effective corporate governance and accountability mechanisms. 

“The factors which necessitated the proposed establishment of an SOE Commission 

have been fully explored and deliberated on as incorporated in parts two and three of the Bill. The monitoring and regulatory role of the Commission as well as the policy implications and desired outcome are clearly embedded in part two of the  Bill which defines the powers and functions of the commission. Part four and five covered the establishment and the composition of SOEs and their Boards respectively,” he said. 

Hon. Sanneh said the Committee and sector experts deliberated on the management architecture and emphasis the necessity for the Boards and management to manifest competence and professionalism in all their undertakings in their activities. 

Hon. Sanneh said concerns on how to prevent political interference and probable ways of protecting the Commission members and the various Boards of the SOEs from undue political interference in the performance of their duties were highly discussed.

Leave A Reply

Your email address will not be published.