BY ALKALI CHAM
Following the relieve of two ministers of their appointments, Youth and Trade ministers and their replacement made by the President of the Republic Adama Barrow; Bakary K Jammeh Governor of Central bank turned down the Presidential appointment as the country’s new Trade minister.
Bakary K. Jammeh in a letter addressed to the presidency questioned the legality of his appointment and chooses to remain the Governor of the Central bank in order to continue with the good work he started as the Central Bank Governor.
Below is the letter written by Bakary K. Jammeh to the president
Reference is hereby made to your letter dated September 30, 2020 reference PR/C6/Vol 211 (246), in relation to the above captioned subject matter. I thank you for the trust and confidence in appointing me as Minister of Trade and member of cabinet.
I should like to bring to your kind attention that I have an existing contract as Governor Central Bank of The Gambia for a term of 5 years under section 18 (3) of the CBG Act 2018
I wish to humbly decline the offer and see off the remainder of my term as Governor for numerous reasons: –
As per section 18 of the Central Bank of The Gambia Act 2018, the Governor shall be appointed for a term of 5 years within which the position is not transferable. Subject to section 18 (7) the Governor may resign upon giving three months’ notice in writing to the President before expiration of his term. Section 18 (8), provides that the President may only remove the Governor after appointing an independent tribunal to investigate and submit a report to the President subject to section 18 (9).
Given my professional training as an Econometrician and Financial Expert, trained to deal with economic models and policies, it is my considered view that I would not serve my country well as a Trade Minister. I am more suited to the needs of the Central Bank of The Gambia. This is evidenced by the following:
In 2017 when we took over the affairs of the Central Bank of The Gambia, the economy was faced with many challenges. Inflation was accelerating, at a high of 8.8 percent in February 2017; the currency was depreciating at an annual rate of about 9 percent; the balance of payments position was worsening with gross international reserves level of less than 2 weeks of imports of goods and services; and private sector credit was contracting at an annual rate of 25 percent; and the money market interest rates high (364-day Treasury bills rate at 10.7 percent in February 2017. However, within a short space of three years we brought about macroeconomic stability with the implementation of prudent monetary policy and reforms. Currently, despite the COVID-19 crisis, the macroeconomic conditions remain stable as evidenced by the following indicators.
Headline inflation remains low at 5.4 percent as at August 2020.
The domestic foreign exchange market stabilized with improved market conditions.
Gross international reserves increased to a record US$314.3 million, equivalent to over 5 months of imports of goods and services, from less than two weeks when we took over the management of the Bank. o Private sector credit is expanding at an annual pace of 20 percent.
The banking sector remains fundamentally sound with a high level of capital, liquidity, and profitability. The non-performing loan ratio declined from 7.8 percent as at end December 2017 to a record low of 4.5 percent in June 2020.
The balance sheet of the Bank grew from D16.5 billion in December 2016 to D38.4 billion by September 2020. Over the same period, accumulated profits of over D2.4 billion were registered and capital and reserves increased from DO.61 billion to D6.29 billion.
I have taken the country through two crises: The first one was the impact of the political impasse in 2016/2017 and recently, the COVID-19 pandemic. During my tenure as Governor, Macroeconomic stability is maintained.
I have also taken the welfare of the staff as a priority. Similarly, I embarked on human resource development by sending our staff to some of the best institutions around the world.
I have served my country with distinction and I shall be available to provide my expertise for the wellbeing of our people.
Please Mr. President accept my highest consideration and esteem.
Cc: Secretary General
Speaker of the National Assembly
Attorney General and Minister of Justice
Secretary to Cabinet