By Edrissa Jallow
The Director General of the Gambia Radio and Television Services (GRTS), Mr Malick Jeng told Gambian Parliamentarians of the Public Enterprise Committee (PEC) that his institution’s 2020 Activity and Financial report were not ready for submission due to their busy schedule with Elections coverage.
Speaking to Parliamentarians on Tuesday 5th July 2022, GRTS DG, Mr Jeng made this revelation much to the disappointment of National Assembly members who ordered the DG not to repeat the no-show again. When questioned why his Institution was not prepared to submit its Reports and deliver a presentation to Parliamentarians DG Jeng noted that the 2021 Presidential and 2022 Parliamentary Elections hindered the timely submission of their reports.
“It’s been an extremely busy period for us and I think probably that’s the only excuse [elections coverage] we can give for the delay but we are working hard, working diligently on this report at the moment [and] we should be able to get it ready as soon as possible,” said Mr Jeng.
Hon Lamin Ceesay for Kiang West questioned the Director General on the busy schedule “that could warrant the institution not to be able to present their financial and activity report of 2020?” which should have actually been submitted in 2021.
In response, DG Jeng explained that the delay is due to “at least two activities” which he disclosed are “the Presidential election and the National Assembly election”. According to him “these are the two major engagements that — took a lot of [GRTS] time”.
In an attempt to appease the Hon members, DG Jeng revealed that the financial statement for the period under review is complete, however, they were not in a position to submit it.
This prompted Hon Ceesay to fire more probing questions to the GRTS DG asking if they came with “the complete version of the financial statement?” In response, GRTS Finance Director, Mr Jamo Sowe, explained that “the financial statement been worked on is very ready but as the required presentation of this report it has to be a complete package so, in that regard, we could not come with any of the reports to present,” however, “the financial statement is ready and the management letter”.
Upon hearing that Hon Ceesay expressed his disappointment noting that: “it’s so unfortunate that an institution like the State Broadcaster are not able to present their 2020 activity report, which is a big lapse for them [GRTS]”.
Requesting for a second change the GRTS DG requested another date to submit both documents when they would be able to deliver a presentation to Parliament. To which Chairperson of the Committee Hon Lamin J Sanneh obliged and gave a date of Monday 25th July 2022.
However, the chairperson warned them that it should not be repeated in the future as it “is a very important institution which needs to be accountable”.
The meeting was then adjourned to the stated date.