Friday, August 26, 2011

Trust Bank acquires 100% ownership of Bayba Money Transfer

New GM of Bayba, Mr Bojang
Trust Bank Gambia Limited has finally acquired 100% share capital of Bayba Financial Services Limited after a rigorous bidding process that started in 2010.  

Bayba is a money transfer company which commenced operations in The Gambia in 2007 and specialises in cash remittances.  Bayba is said to have the exclusive rights with Bayba UK for the transfer of money inter alia between the UK and The Gambia.

Bayba Gambia was a subsidiary of Bayba (UK), which is a wholly owned subsidiary of Small World Financial Services Ltd; the third largest money transfer company in Europe after Western Union and MoneyGram.

Gambia's development enhanced by EU

The Gambia has credited the European Union for enhancing the economic development of the country and her people through a number of initiatives the Union has been undertaken under The Gambia-EU Cooperation.

Since the Gambia-EU Cooperation has been growing steadily over the past decades, the EU continues to stand out as one of The Gambia’s principal development partners.

 “The EU has funded huge capital intensive projects in the areas of water supply, transportation, rural development and livelihood enhancement, direct poverty reduction programmes, among others,” Mod A.K. Secka, permanent secretary at the Ministry of Finance, said on Tuesday at the beginning of a nine-day training of stakeholders on the 10th European Development Fund (EDF) procedures held at the Kairaba Beach Hotel in Senegambia.

Due to the EU’s huge developmental support to The Gambia, Mr Secka expressed the government’s commitment to strengthening the long fruitful relationship between The Gambia and the EU.

GRTS signs ‘biggest’ contract with Gamcel/Gamtel

The twin national telecommunications companies, Gamcel and Gamtel, have signed two major sponsorship contracts worth D3.7 million with the national broadcaster – Gambia Radio and Television Services (GRTS). 
This is said to be the biggest sponsorship contract ever signed by the national television in fifteen years.

With this contract, whose signing was held at Gamcel’s head office on Mamadi Maniyang highway, the two telecom companies have agreed to sponsor GRTS to show a new soap opera called ‘Sweet of Essence’ as well as the Premier League matches.

Phoday Sisay, Gamcel’s general manager, said all these are geared towards satisfying their customers and the Gambians as a whole.  He said both institutions and the GRTS have a common interest of satisfying their customers, who are their uppermost priority.  “GRTS is really part of Gamcel and we both belong to the people of The Gambia,” he said.

The Gamcel GM expressed optimism that people would like the recently signed soap opera – Sweat of Essence, adding that the movie is good for both parents and children.

GTBank outdoes competition in the banking industry

delivers remarkable results
Add caption
Guaranty Trust Bank has been able to take the fierce competition in the Gambia’s banking industry to its side.
The bank has positioned itself among the strongest banks in the country as it delivered remarkable result for 2010, which shows its balance sheet growing through increased profit, enhanced deposit portfolio as well as increased shareholders fund.

“In spite of the challenges posed by the global financial crisis and keen competition in the Gambian banking industry, Guaranty Trusty Bank (Gambia) Ltd has posted remarkable results for the year ended 31 December 2010,” a statement from the bank says.
Olalekan Sanusi, GTBank MD
The 2010 audited account of the bank, released after the bank’s Annual General Meeting held in July this year, indicate that GTBank’s profit before tax rose by 6% from D75 million in 2009 to D79.5 million in 2010, while gross earnings grew by 6.6% from D349 million in 2009 to D372 million.

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Bank PHB taken over: story behind the story

The Central Bank of The Gambia announced on 9 August that Bank PHB (Gambia) Limited has been taken over by Keystone Bank Nigeria Limited with effect from 6 August 2011, although it did not advance any reason for the sudden takeover, whose announcement came as a surprise to many.

Bank PHB Nigeria Limited, the parent company of Bank PHB in The Gambia, is one of the three banks that are at the brink of collapsed as a result the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has revoked there banking licenses.

Governor of Central Bank of Nigeria, Lamido Sanusi
The revocation of the banking licenses of Bank PHB, Afribank, and Spring Bank came as the CBN firmly believes that the three banks will not able to meet the September 30 deadline given to them to recapitalise.

The CBN stated: “Those three banks could not have met the deadline for the recapitalisation of the banks. Since the banks could not have met the deadline, there was no point in prolonging the situation.”

Following the revocation of their licences, the Nigerian government through the Nigeria Deposit Insurance Corporation (NDIC), announced it had taken over the three banks by incorporating what it calls Bridge Bank to temporarily take control of the banks.  

SCB delivers outstanding half-year profit

Group Chief Executive of SCB, Peter Stands
A shot in the arm for Standard Chartered Bank clients as the bank, both national and international, continues to register impressive results, support organic growth and customers, and ensure it is well insulated from macro-economic and regulatory uncertainty.
SCB (Gambia) CEO, Humphrey Mukwereza
Standard Chartered Plc, the parent body of Standard Chartered Bank Gambia, has delivered its first half result for the year, which shows the bank’s income and profit increased by 11 per cent and 17 per cent respectively. 

The Group produced diverse and resilient income growth across a number of products and geographies, driven by recent investment in new product capabilities and income streams.

“Standard Chartered PLC announced a ninth successive record first half of profit with income growing by 11 per cent to US$8.76 billion as profit climbed 17 per cent to US$3.64 billion,” a statement from the bank has said.

W/A evaluates media roles in economic and political development

Media practitioners, civil society representatives and some academics from some Commonwealth countries in Africa recently completed a forum in The Gambia in which the roles and responsibilities of the media in economic and political development were discussed.

Organised and financed by the Commonwealth Secretariat, in collaboration with The Gambia Government, the forum stimulated debate on emerging economic development and democracy issues as well as journalism professionalism in the region.  

The programme was divided into two parts. The first part, held on 1 and 2 August at the Sheraton Hotel and Spa in Brufut, was a regional forum where delegates identified media training and capacity building priority needs, especially in communication and media for development.

This was followed by a three-day capacity building workshop specifically designed for Gambian journalists, and held at the University of The Gambia Law Faculty at MDI Road in Kanifing.  

“The forum avails participants the opportunity to learn from experts the ethics, responsibilities and techniques of professional journalism and the need to position the media as a tool for economic development, enhancing democracy through impartial, balanced and mature reporting,” said Alhaji Cham, Gambia’s Minister of Information and Communication Infrastructure during the opening ceremony of the forum at the Sheraton Hotel on Monday.

Minister Cham acknowledged that the media is both an influential and inevitable element in the socio-economic and political development of any nation.

Monday, August 8, 2011

Gambia Gov’t urged to embargo chicken imports

The Department of Animal Health and Production Services under the Ministry of Agriculture has urged the Gambia government to put an embargo on the importation of chickens and other poultry products into The Gambia.

The Gambia imports about 8,000,000 kilograms of frozen chicken annually, even though there are more than 30 fully operational poultry farms in the country talk less of the countless number of  households in the rural and urban areas that rear mostly chickens and ducks.  

The country could save valuable foreign exchange if its poultry farms are encouraged to increase their output. And this, according to the Department of Animal Health and Production Services, can be facilitated by also freezing the importation of chickens into the country, for at least the period of time in the year that the local chicks are up for sale and consumption.

“Government should temporally freeze the importation of poultry products into the country from April to September each year during the tourist off season,” states a document entitled Challenges and Opportunities in the Poultry Sector from the Policy Perspective presented by the Department of Animal Health and Production Services during the recently concluded 3rd Gambia Economic Summit held at the Kairaba Beach Hotel in Senegambia.

Friday, August 5, 2011

Gambia economy deficit swelling

Mr Sabally, Director of Budget, Ministry of Finance
The Gambia economy is experiencing increasing budget deficit as the government continues to spend more than its revenue.  The country’s deficit has increased from D58.3 million in the first quarter of this year to D708.5 million in the second quarter.

The Central Bank of The Gambia says the government has registered a deficit of D708.5 million, excluding grants, in the first half of 2011.

However, when grants, monies given by other governments and institutions to the Gambia Government, are added to the budget, the deficit reduced to D90 million. This shows that the government received (a total grant of) D618.5 million during the period under review.

The total fiscal deficit of The Gambia for 2011 is estimated at D466.36 million or 1.47 per cent of GDP. The government says this deficit would be financed by foreign and domestic borrowing amounting to D833.82 million and D120.00 million respectively. 
The Gambia’s fiscal (or financial) performance continues to be challenged by higher-than-projected expenditures by the government that is unmatched by revenue performance of the economy.
The Governor of the Central Bank of The Gambia (CBG), Amadou Colley, says the 2011 projection of the country’s Balance of Payments (BoP) - which is the difference between the export and import of goods and services - indicate an overall deficit of US$3.70 million, which is more than D100 million, compared to a deficit of US$15.20 million more than D400.0 million, in 2010.

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

NAWEC dwells in financial turmoil

Gambia government ministries, the parastatals and some influential economic operators in the country have dipped NAWEC into a financial difficulty by accumulating huge bills payable to the national utility company over a long period of time.

The financial situation of the National Water and Electricity Company is in jeopardy and disorder as the government and its parastatals, as well as some private institutions and individuals, continue to consume NAWEC’s services “without paying adequately” for them thereby accumulating tens of millions of dalasis due to the utility company.
As at 21 June this year, NAWEC is owed over two billion dalasis by the above-mentioned institutions. Eleven government ministries, as well as the Office of the President, have consumed a total of over thirty-two million one hundred and twenty thousand dalasis (D32,120,000) worth of NAWEC services such as electricity and water, which is yet to be paid, according to a recent release by NAWEC. 
The Ministry of Defence has the highest debt among the lot.

Government-related accounts and parastatals, including the national broadcaster - GRTS, the Green Industries, and the Presidential Villa, also owe NAWEC a total of more than fifty million dalasis (D50,000,000).  GRTS alone owes over fourteen million dalasis (D14,000,000) to NAWEC.

The seven area councils in the country put together owes NAWEC over one hundred and twenty-five million three and seventy-six thousand dalasis (D125,376,000), of which Brikama Area Council owes the highest.  Some private institutions and individuals including Amadou Samba, Mustapha Njie, Ocean Bay Hotel, Kanilai Farms, and Taf Constructions owe NAWEC almost eleven million dalasis (D11,000,000).