By Kebba Ansu Manneh
The Central Bank of The Gambia (CBG) has denied and dismissed allegations of corruption in the foreign exchange market and called the allegations false and a smear campaign aimed at tarnishing Bankers Bank’s image.
Last week, an online newspaper, The Alkamba Times, made startling revelations alleging that Central Bank Governor Buah Saidy and senior presidential officials were ‘colluding’ in supplying foreign currency to offices. local currency exchange.
The outlet also reported the names of individuals and money changers CBG allegedly dealt with, including JV Trading, George Banna, Shyben Madi, Gam Food Trading Company, Sud FM Shop, Cendual Enterprise and Futanka Enterprise, alleging that each of these entities received up to $3 million at a time in hard currency, resulting in the continued depreciation of the dalasi.
However, Bankers Bank officials refuted the claims on its weekly radio show on West Coast Radio, where they said the depreciation of the dalasi was linked to a range of factors, including the decline in cross-border trade in the cashew nuts, the embargo on timber trade as well as the Ukraine-Russia war which affected the flow of foreign currency in the financial market.
“We are very saddened to receive reports circulating in the city that the Central Bank of The Gambia has distributed foreign currency to business entities who are not using the money for the purpose for which it was distributed.
“This far from the truth and far from the truth, the journalist(s) who wrote this story did not confirm his story with CBG officials to verify his story before writing the article,” said Karafa Jobarteh , director of financial markets CBG refuted allegations of corruption.
He added, “The Central Bank of The Gambia belongs to the country and belongs to all Gambians and therefore any smear campaign against the Bank is against all Gambians.
“If the image of the Bank is negatively tarnished in front of the world, if it has a problem, it will affect everyone in the country, so we call on all journalists who need information from CBG to come forward and to approach the relevant authorities and obtain the correct information before engaging in a defamation campaign.
The director of financial markets revealed that the country’s main sources of foreign exchange from April to September were currencies from the cashew nut trade and timber trade, arguing that these sectors have been affected by the various embargoes. on those companies that are not more foreign exchange in the country.
He went further by revealing that the war between Ukraine and Russia had affected world trade and that the Central Bank of Gambia was no exception, implying that this situation was causing constraints for companies in need of dollars for to be able to import into the country.
Karafa Jobarteh explained that the cashew nut trade between Gambia, Senegal and Guinea-Bissau has contributed significantly to the availability of foreign exchange in the market, adding that due to trade policies implored by Senegal and Guinea-Bissau, these currencies coming from this activity are not more to come.
He added that the timber trade, which usually brings foreign currency to the country from April to September, has also not taken place, revealing that this sector alone usually injects more than 120 million dinars into the country. economy, which complicates things in the foreign exchange market.
The CBG Director of Financial Markets continued that this year the Central Bank of The Gambia has been able to inject 87 million dalasis into the financial markets to support businesses in the country, noting that this money has been evenly distributed among the twelve (12) distributed commercial banks. in the country in order to make foreign currency available to those companies that need it to carry out their transactions.
He revealed that some state-owned companies such as NAWEC, GNPC and other commercial entities that import food into the country have also benefited from this procurement. He added that in July this year, the Central Bank of The Gambia also stepped in and helped some companies to be able to clear their goods at the seaport to stabilize food availability in the country.
He finally called on the press to always verify their sources with the competent authorities of the bank before publishing their publications, adding that the CBG has an open door policy by which journalists can channel their queries to confirm their sources in the interest from the country.