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National Audit Office Reveals NAWEC’s Unretired Imprests 

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Nani Juwara, The Managing Director of NAWEC 

By Ramatoulie Jawo 

The National Audit Office (NAO) disclosed that funds were disbursed to individuals and institutions as an Imprest, but no evidence was presented to confirm full retirement of the disbursed amount. 

These findings were detailed in the NAO’s Management Letter concerning the audit of the National Water and Electricity Company (NAWEC) 2020 financial year report.

During the report’s consideration on Thursday, Hon. Lamin Ceesay, the National Assembly Member for Kiang West, expressed concerns regarding Unretired Imprests. 

In response, Nani Juwara, the Managing Director of NAWEC, informed the Committee that in 2020, they initiated the first electrification project in Kiang, funded through the Indian line of credit. 

Mr. Juwara mentioned that the project was officially launched in 2020, and NAWEC, in collaboration with the Ministry of Petroleum and Energy, established a task force to oversee the inauguration of this specific project.

“It is a NAWEC project under the Ministry of Petroleum and Energy. The amount that we have contributed to that inauguration is what is stated here. This was coordinated at the Office of the Permanent Secretary  at the Ministry of Petroleum at the time. So NAWEC contribute towards the commission of this project and at the same time the Ministry of Energy also contributed some amount,” Mr Juwara said

He mentioned that NAWEC’s contribution for the program was directly transferred to the account designated by the Ministry of Petroleum and Energy, with the intention of housing the funds under the management of the program’s organizing committee.

“So this was NAWEC’s contribution and we then requested that these expenditures NAWEC should be provided with receipts. The challenge that probably the Ministry told us they had was some of these were used for mobilization because these are political events. So sometimes they deal directly with the locals and provide funds for them. Some of the expenditures that were made which the Ministry found it extremely difficult for them to get the receipt from the locals and it became a problem.” Mr. Juwara told the committee.

Mr. Juwara confirmed that the Ministry successfully obtained receipts for payments made directly by locals to certain suppliers involved in activities, such as the company responsible for managing the event. 

He acknowledged that funds used for mobilizing locals presented challenges for the Ministry, but emphasized that the money was indeed utilized.

“We spent D1.5 million, so the seven hundred and fifty we got the receipts. The other seven hundred and fifty unfortunately up to the time of this audit the receipts were unavailable,” he said. 

Honorable Lamin Ceesay expressed his refusal to accept the explanations provided by NAWEC’s Managing Director. Subsequently, he inquired of NAWEC officials regarding the measures taken to ensure proper accountability of the funds. 

Crispin Grey Johnson, Chairperson of NAWEC’s Board of Directors, acknowledged that the Board has directed the Management to take all necessary actions to secure the necessary receipts. Subsequently, the NAWEC Managing Director intervened, emphasizing their commitment to addressing this matter with the Ministry of Petroleum to ensure proper accountability.

“Lessons have been learned since this particular inauguration we have done other inaugurations and we were very strict to those who ever collects anything to make sure it is fully accounted for with evidence of receipts,” Juwara highlighted

The Chairman of the Committee advise the NAWEC Management to do everything possible to make sure the issue is resolved before the next audit session.

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