Accounts in Red: Gambia Ports Authority staff salaries still unpaid

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By: Foday Manneh

Highly placed sources close to the Gambia Ports Authority (GPA) have told the Alkamba Times that the GPA cannot pay staff salaries for February as the authority is currently facing massive financial challenges.

“For the first time, the Gambia Ports Authority has not been able to pay the salaries of its staff because they are no funds in their accounts,” a source with knowledge of the issue told Alkamba Times.

“This is what has been happening until now; we are trying to gather funds from our creditors to pay salaries, another insider said.

“We paid a dividend of D170 million to the government, D100 million for the renovation of the stadium, and also sort out the duck workers distribution package in hundreds of millions. But, unfortunately, our accounts are all in the red right now,” the source added.

In August 2022, The Gambia Ports Authority (GPA) declared its profit for the year ending 2021 with a significant disbursement of a cheque amounting to D170 million to the Gambia government, marking a record dividend payment in the country’s history.

Surprisingly, seven months later, the port authority was hit by a significant financial challenge leading to the inability to settle the monthly remunerations of employees.

However, when TAT reached out to The Gambia Port Authority, they vehemently denied the allegation. They said February salaries had been paid since the 24th of the month as employees in specific banks have already received their wages.

“According to the GPA Service Rule, salary should normally be paid by the 25th of each month, but it can otherwise be paid by the end of the month, “Yankuba Manneh, GPA Communications officer, told TAT.

“February salary has been paid since Friday, 24th, and employees receiving their salaries from FBN, Access Bank, Vista Bank, and BSIC Bank have already received their salaries because the amount of cash in GPA’s accounts at these banks could pay the number of employees who receive salaries from them,” Manneh added.

Meanwhile, the GPA quickly confirmed that some of their employees with accounts with numerous banking institutions are yet to receive their salaries due to what they called Real Time Gross Settlement (RTGS) transfer.

“Indeed, employees in the remaining Banks, including GTBank, Trust Bank, and Eco Bank, could not receive their salaries since Friday, simply because of the RTGS transfer from one account of the Authority to the accounts in the above-stated Banks with not enough money for payment of salaries,” Manneh explained.

“However, today, the transfer has been successfully done, and these banks have begun posting salaries to the accounts of the beneficiaries. So, those who have not received their salaries will have access to theirs by tomorrow,” the GPA communication confirmed.

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