By Yusef Taylor, @FlexDan_YT
The 6th Legislature of the Gambia’s National Assembly will hold its first extraordinary session of the year 2022 on Thursday 28th July 2022 to ratify two loans and consider a revised 2022 Budget.
The announcement means that the National Assembly has cancelled all committee meetings and “all Committee activities shall cease effective Wednesday, 27th July 2022 until September 2022”. The announcement from the National Assembly’s communications team added that all “affected stakeholders should be duly informed”.
Another press release issued by the National Assembly’s communications team notes that one of the “urgent important matters of State” to be discussed is “the Ratification of the signed loans from the Kuwaiti fund and the Islamic Development Bank to finance Bertil Harding Highway and the University of The Gambia; and A Revised Budget 2022 for the consideration of the National Assembly to accommodate Civil Service salary increment”.
The press release added that newly appointed Minister of Finance and Economic Affairs Hon Seedy Keita “shall table the aforesaid businesses for the consideration of the Assembly”.
Loan Agreements worth D1.9 Billion Secured by MoFEA and MoHERST
It can be recalled that Gainako broke the news that the Ministry of Higher Education, Research and Technical Studies (MoHERST) with the support of the Ministry of Finance and Economic Affairs (MoFEA) had secured a $22 Million Loan for the construction of the University of the Gambia’s (UTG) Faraba Campus.
During the interview with the Project Manager for the Faraba Project in the presence of MoHERST Minister Hon Pierre Gomez, Gainako was informed that their institution is “just waiting for the legal opinion of the Government and subject to National Assembly approval”.
The loan agreement for the UTG Loan is split as follows; a $15 Million USD (D795 Million) Loan from the Arab Bank of Development in Africa (BADEA) secured in June 2022 and a $7 Million USD (D371 Million) Loan from the Islamic Development Bank (IsDB) secured in December 2021.
Also agreed in December 2021 between the Gambia Government and the IsDB is a loan agreement of $14 Million USD (D742 Million) for the widening of the Bertil Harding Highway.
The loan information provided in this article was secured by a Gainako Reporter during a trip to the 2022 IsDB Annual Meetings in Sharm El Sheikh, Egypt which concluded in early June 2022. It is not clear if both loans will be tabled together or separately. The MoFEA may have also secured additional loans during or after the trip to Egypt that he attended.
During the trip, our reporter contacted the IsDB Media Lead to answer questions on the loan repayment timescales and interest payments. Gainako has been informed by the IsDB Vice President of Operations, Dr Mansour Muhtar that the IsDB loans attract a proposed service fee of 1.5%, a repayment period of 25 years including a 7-year grace period. Our reporter has also been informed by the MoHERST that the BADEA Loans attract the same conditions.
- Bertil Harding Highway WIdening – $14 Million USD (D742 Million) from IsDB.
- UTG Faraba Campus – $7 Million USD (D371 Million) from IsDB.
- UTG Faraba Campus – $15 Million USD (D795 Million) from BADEA.
- 1.5% service fee, 25 Year Loan Repayment Period including 7 Years grace period.
- Conversions at a rate of D53 Million then.
For details on these loan agreements please follow the links below.