Opinion | Gambia Nawec | The Danger Of Political Meddling
It’s obvious that the problem with NAWEC has largely to do with inefficiency at the level of administration.
President Barrow and Ousainou Darboe have to a significant proportion contributed to the wreckage of this utility giants by unlawfully dismissing it’s capable erstwhile Managing Director Ebrima Sanyang and his immediate subordinates.
The first thing president Barrow and Darboe hesitated not in doing was to profile those highly-performinig MDs at state-owned parastatals and Departments based on their ethnic, religion, region and political affinities, with those who fall short on their radar, receiving their marching orders irrespective of the MDs competence thus, the failure at NAWEC.
Former MD Sanyang has been at the centre of NAWEC’s success story over the past decade or so. Mr Sanyang spearheaded the almighty task of extension of electricity to rural Gambia as Manager Transmission and Distribution Dept, he inspired the changing of NAWEC’s water and electricity billing systems in one of his travels to South Africa, he oversaw the commissioning of most of these NAWEC substations stretched far and wide the country, he was constantly engaged in the awarding and signing of contracts on behalf of the power giants for the procurement of heavy duty generators and other equipment, training of staffs, capacitization of staffs etc etc. Sanyang deservedly rose through the ranks to eventually assuming the top job at NAWEC. It is abundantly evident that since his victimisation sometime in 2017 immediately after the change of government, NAWEC has backtracked to no better than during Jawara’s GUC days. The reason been- the right job wasn’t given to the right man. This humble former MD was well adored by and had a good working relationship with his subordinates at NAWEC, very interactive and meant business when it comes to his domain as head of the country’s essential monopoly. Whatever, Mr Sanyang is now happily working an international consultancy job and is awarded highly paid contracts(3x the pay of a NAWEC MD)by foreign power firms. Yes you can dismiss someone but you can’t take away his expertise. Mr Sanyang was unlawfully dismissed coz of a perceived political colour back home, but he’s back on the job internationally.
Over one billion two hundred thousand dalasis(D1.2bn) was spent on trying to fix Gambians electricity constraints by the Barrow since the unlawful sacking of Former MD Sanyang who was spending less and doing well , but the higher the investment by the Barrow government, the more NAWEC under-performs. Karpower and Senelec contracts were a sham! Adama Barrow and the coalition government’s earlier elections promises of electrifying the whole country in six months time if elected into office has been defeated, proven lies! They cannot even manage to adequately maintain the current supply voltage to the already electrified households four years on much more electrifying the whole Gambia, how comfortable and easier doing the “mouth job” , perhaps they thought running a country is like running a corner store lol.
Political appointments, nepotism and “connectocracy” are major contributing factors to why NAWEC is reduced to a joke nowadays. Reason why there is growing impatience amongst Gambians with regard to the current power dilemma throughout the country. The power outages is becoming too unbearable even to the knowledge of President Barrow who himself, is left with no other option but gambling as to whom the right Managing Director would be. Baba Fatajo who was cherry picked by the former Vice President ousainou Darboe(due to his affiliation to the UDP) was a disappointment, Alpha Robinson who was imported from Germany by president Barrow (similarly political) also disappointed, and it looks highly likely that the current MD Nani Juwara is also not the solution as NAWEC’s woes un-abatedly deepens and is also set to have his days numbered. Now let’s see whether president Barrow and Ousainou Darboe who put us through this whole mess can rescue us alone, or let’s see whether it is the APRC and their supporters who are feeling the pains of live without electricity.
By Sadibou Badjie Bajagarr