By Fatou Sillah
Seedy Keita, the Minister of Finance and Economic Affairs, said at a media briefing that the financial performance of State-Owned-Enterprises (SOEs) is very weak.
“As we stand now, the total assets of the state-owned enterprises are about 34 billion, and most of them are struggling financially. The financial performance of SOEs are very weak, and this was identified and the causes. The president was brief as to the performance of each state-owned enterprise, factors leading to their performance, why their performance are the way they are and what measures should be taken,” he said.
The minister also stated that one of the key things to do is to usher in the SOE commission.
“One of the key next and quick steps to take is to usher in the SOE commission. The board of directors of which have been approved and appointed. We will do the onboarding of this board of this SOE commission this week. We believe with the coming into force of that board, that will also support the directorate and SOE commission to really work with the SOEs in order to increase their financial and operational performance and efficiency,” he said.
The minister further stated that it was a challenging year for the Gambia in terms of revenue.
“It was a challenging year revenue-wise; revenue has performed, but the cost pressures were there as expected, and budget support has not fallen in the first half of the year. Notwithstanding, we were able to introduce certain fiscal measures to constrain cost; that was the key highlight of the budget execution, and we hope that the second half of the year, which will witness the release of the budget support, will help support the disbursement to key sectors and operations of the government,” the minister stated.
The minister made these remarks at the State House in Banjul after a forum with the President of the Republic of the Gambia. The forum was held to update the President on the activities of the ministry in the past six months, including the work program from the microeconomic aspects to the implementation and execution of the 2023 budget. The forum also aimed to update the President on the performance of state-owned enterprises and on donor coordination and project execution.