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BUDGET SPEECH 2004
PROGRAMME BASED BUDGETING FOR EFFICIENT RESOURCE ALLOCATION AND USE WITH A POVERTY REDUCTION DIMENSION
X. DIVESTITURE STRATEGY AND REGULATORY FRAMEWORK OF PUBLIC ENTERPRISES
Mr. Speaker Sir,
152. The implementation of the Divestiture Programme by the Gambia Divestiture Agency (GDA) is ongoing. Required studies on Track I Enterprises should commence after the study on the Regulatory Framework is completed. The regulatory study was conducted by a group of consultants led by the Institute for Public-Private Partnerships (IP3), and their final report is being studied for implementation. This study will, among other things, help operationalize the Public Utilities Regulatory Authority, and determine the need and scope of individual sector studies that are planned for track I Enterprises.
153. The Consultancy for the study of options for the Social Security and Housing Finance Corporation, funded by the CBEMP, is ongoing, and will determine the feasibility or otherwise of opening up the pensions sector to private sector participation, and the conditions under which such liberalisation could take place. It will also determine the feasibility and mode of separating housing finance from pension fund administration and management.
154. Work on the divestiture process of The Gambia Groundnuts Corporation (GGC) is progressing. Terms of reference have been prepared, and the Gambia Divestiture Agency is in the process of securing the services of a Financial Advisor to prepare the relevant sales documentation, and assist the Agency through the sale process. In the meantime, two other consultancies are ongoing. One involves the preparation and audit of accounts as well as a legal review of the Corporation, and the other is an update of the 2001 Study Reports on the Industrial Equipment and Facilities and the River Transport fleet. Reports generated from these consultancies will feed into the sales documentation to be prepared by the Financial Advisor.
155. The rehabilitation of the GGC barges continued in 2003, and will also continue into 2004 as we search for more funds to properly rehabilitate the entire 26 barge-fleet, fourteen of which and one tugboat have now been completed and are afloat. The full rehabilitation work will upgrade the Groundnut Industrial Assets, and their full value at privatisation. The importance of this barge rehabilitation cannot be over-emphasised, as it will allow for the exploitation of opportunities in the transportation market.
156. The valuation of the assets of Gambia Cotton Company Ltd (GAMCOT) has been completed, and the Consultant has submitted a report. Based on this valuation, Government intends to engage DAGRIS, the only other shareholder in the Company to purchase Government's shares, so that the sale can be concluded by end December 2003. Should no agreement be reached with DAGRIS, then a tender process will be launched.