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 Banjul Breweries off to Senegal ?
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10744 Posts

Posted - 30 Apr 2020 :  13:01:38  Show Profile Send toubab1020 a Private Message  Reply with Quote


By Tabora Bojang April 30, 2020

Staff at the Banjul Breweries Limited have told The Standard that the real reasons behind the announcement by their management to close down are more than the technical and economic reasons stated.“That and the Covid-19 pandemic are both used by the management as smoke screen. The real motive is, and has been that they want to relocate the factory to Senegal and use The Gambia as just a sales depot,” a spokesman of the staff said.

The staff noted that such a move will only benefit the company as it will save millions of taxes paid annually to the Gambia government as well as operation costs on both human and capital investments.

“They have already conducted a survey to see the possibilities of this hidden initiative. They want to use the factory in Senegal and change this brewery into a subsidiary to be managed by few employees. The Gambia government must not allow this plan to go ahead, because it will only trigger dire economic distress on the lives of the people and the state in terms of taxes.”

According to the staff, the company is financially stable to sustain its operations in the country.
In an internal memo issued by the management and seen by the Standard, it stated the factory would need an investment of €2 million to sustain current operations and that after several economic assessments, cash required for necessary capital investment is “totally disproportionate to the envisaged profitability of the business”.

It further states that “most of the staff will be made redundant from May 1 and they will be compensated according to the labour laws” of The Gambia.
When The Standard visited the company premises for the management’s reaction on these allegations, the security officers at the gate would not allow access, saying they are instructed not to allow journalists into the premises.

A senior government official who prefers anonymity said the announcement of the company’s closure is a concern for the government and as such the management of the Brewery has been engaged to assess several options for a dialogue.
“Banjul Breweries is a major industrial player and their closure will not send a good signal. Yes, government is doing a lot of work on the ground because we are equally concerned about the plight of the citizens especially on unemployment matters. We know that the closure of the company will not only affect staff and other indirect workers but the tourism industry at large.”

Asked about the allegations by staff that the company is planning to relocate to Senegal, he said:“Government has no proof of that since it was never highlighted by the management in their discussions and we don’t have other sources to verify these allegations.

"Simple is good" & I strongly dislike politics. You cannot defend the indefensible.


10744 Posts

Posted - 07 May 2020 :  16:27:39  Show Profile Send toubab1020 a Private Message  Reply with Quote

Crunch time Julbrew to be no more closed in order to make way for giant companies of better known Foreign drinks. A real blow to Gambia's prestige but a super oportunity for GIANT foreign drinks companies.
THINK TWICE members of the NA ,who doubtless will be lobbied very hard by intestered parties !

By Tabora Bojang May 7, 2020

The Commissioner General of the Gambia Revenue Authority has said government has no authority to rescind a decision by the shareholders of the Banjul Breweries Limited to shut down operations in the country.

Yankuba Darboe was among relevant government officials and members of the National Assembly select committee who met the BBL officials on the announced decision to wrap up.

He also added that one thing government can do is to hope and commit “other interested buyers to take over the company, if discussions to encourage current owners to stay in the market fail.

“Banjul Breweries is one of the tax compliant companies, paying a lot of taxes and also contributing in terms of employment. In any case, you can only take a horse to the river but you cannot force it to drink”, Darboe said during the interface with the management of BBL who appeared before the assembly committee on trade yesterday to explain their decision to close down operations in The Gambia.

The GRA boss added: “Government can do all kind of encouragement to them, but if they want to withdraw, there is nothing we can do other than hoping for the best that there may be other interested buyers and then we will work with those people.”
Banjul Breweries announced closure of operations in The Gambia citing “technical and economic reasons informed by an increase of excise tax” by the government last year but the increase was later revised from 75 to 35%.

Commissioner Darboe said the company has enjoyed a lot of tax incentives from the previous and the present governments, claiming that their closure is beyond tax hike as stated.

“I think the shareholders wanted to give up because otherwise they would not have closed the company while negotiation is ongoing with government and until I see some magic happening, I am not hopeful that they are coming back. But even if they go, let us pray that we have other shareholders that the government will work with and all the facilities that are there will be given to them and hopefully workers will come back,” Darboe said.
Presenting their case, the secretary general of the company Fatou Sinyan Mergan said the closure was a business decision by its share holders who have invested a lot into the company but it continues to run profitless.

“From 2010 to 2014 it was all losses every year, but they continue with the operations and did not ask for dividends. In fact, after all these years they only get a dividend for 2017 and 2018.If the company did not want to stay, they would have left after two years of operations. As a Gambian, I would like to see the company stay and the share holders are willing to look at what is on the table because they have invested a lot into the brewery and they have not given up. The repercussions of Covid-19 pandemic could be an economic disaster and some global companies are re-thinking about their strategies and looking inwards about their investments and returns,” Sinyang concluded.


"Simple is good" & I strongly dislike politics. You cannot defend the indefensible.
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10744 Posts

Posted - 12 May 2020 :  17:20:34  Show Profile Send toubab1020 a Private Message  Reply with Quote

NO Company can expect to survive with a tax increase burden of such magnatude .
"Magassy said the increment in tax from 10% to 75% has thwarted the confidence, trust and hope that existed between the Company and Government; that if the efforts being made were properly communicated to shareholders, this can increase their hope."



By: Kebba AF Touray May 11, 2020

The Trade Committee of the National Assembly, last Wednesday engaged the nation’s main beverage production company ‘Banjul Breweries’, to discuss the Company’s decision to close operations in the country.

The engagement which was attended by Committee Members, Officials of the Company, the Trade Ministry and the Commissioner General of the Gambia Revenue Authority (GRA), was to find out whether the reason(s) behind the Company’s decision to cease all operations in the country was because of economic losses and a multi-million Euro rehabilitation investment, as alluded to by the Company’s authorities.

Nominated Member Ya Kumba Jaiteh recommended that proper planning should be in place to save the Company’s workers whose chances of continuity are slim; that this will minimize the impact of the closure of ‘Banjul Breweries’ on the country’s economy.

Billay Tunkara, the National Assembly Member for Kantora said Government should go further to give ‘Banjul Breweries’ tax incentives as encouragement for them to bounce back to their profit making base; that the industry is a household name in the country and this should be preserved and protected.

Momodou Ceesay, the National Assembly Member for Janjangbureh said it is not in the interest of Government to see ‘Banjul Breweries’ closed; that the matter should have been addressed much earlier. He said this particular Company has operated in the country for decades and has generated immense profit.

Muhammed Magassy, the National Assembly Member for Basse said the profitability of the Company suffered up to 2014; that during 2019, the issue of tax came when hopes were high. He cited that tax reduction did not heal the wounds of the Company, but instead aggravated their problems.

Magassy said the increment in tax from 10% to 75% has thwarted the confidence, trust and hope that existed between the Company and Government; that if the efforts being made were properly communicated to shareholders, this can increase their hope.

An Official from the Company who was at the meeting clarified that despite the Company facing loses from 2010-2014, it continued operations without making any dividend payments to shareholders; that it only made dividend payments in 2017 and 2018, during the last eight years; that the Company instead double staff level in 2011 and expanded production, at the same time maintaining corporate-social responsibilities.

The Official said she would like to see ‘Banjul Breweries’ continue but that they have to consider the issues they face and the expectation of their shareholders.

Yankuba Darboe, Commissioner General of the Gambia Revenue Authority (GRA), described the decision of the Company as a sad one noting that ‘Banjul Breweries’ was a tax compliant Company.

“We hope for the best that we have interested buyers who would work with us. ‘Banjul Breweries’ has been here for decades and enjoyed some of the tax incentives offered them by the authorities,” he said; that the issue was not about tax and went on to give some examples.

Muhammed Mahanera, the Chairperson of the National Assembly Trade Committee, said efforts were underway to address the situation and expressed hope that the operations of the Company would continue instead; that the country was faced with lots of challenges and as such allowing ‘Banjul Breweries’ to close would send a bad signal for the country.

“The Government has increased tax from 10% to 75% and as a Committee, we will do our utmost to revise this decision. Government collected D214 million from the Company last year and in 2020, Government generated D55 million tax revenue from ‘Banjul Breweries’. The closure of ‘Banjul Breweries’ will affect the country in revenue generation and will increase unemployment in the country,” Mahanera concluded.

"Simple is good" & I strongly dislike politics. You cannot defend the indefensible.
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10744 Posts

Posted - 25 Jun 2020 :  23:10:17  Show Profile Send toubab1020 a Private Message  Reply with Quote


By Yankuba Jallow June 25, 2020

The Minister of Trade on Wednesday, 24th June 2020 told lawmakers that Banjul Breweries are resolute on their plan to stop their operation in the Gambia as they begin selling their assets.

Honourable Lamin Jobe said this while answering a question by Honourable Kebba K. Barrow, the Majority Leader and member for Kombo South.

“Honourable Speaker, would the Minister for Trade confirm to this august body whether Banjul Breweries Limited will cease to operate after forty (40) years in The Gambia?” Honourable Barow asked.

“Thank you Honourable Speaker and thank you, Honourable Member. My Ministry was formally notified by Banjul Breweries Limited (by their management) that they are ceasing operation in The Gambia,” the Minister said.

He said on the 27th March 2020, Banjul Breweries informed the Ministry that on the 30th March 2020, they will be ceasing operation. He disclosed that the reasons advanced included both economic and financial issues. He said when the Ministry discussed with the Banjul Breweries, they were told that the decision came from their board of directors.

“It was a board resolution who thought it was unworthy for the company to continue on this trend,” the Minister said.

He informed the lawmakers that Banjul Breweries has ceased operation in The Gambia.

“The company is no longer operating or producing. Its machines are shut down, the staffs have been laid off and their entitlements fully paid,” Minister Jobe said.

He said the Government has promised Banjul Breweries that they will be reviewing their letter and will hopefully come up with some remedial actions as per the challenges highlighted as for the economic and technical reasons.

“We have engaged the company (Banjul Breweries) but we could not stop the process,” the Minister said.

The Minister explained that a task force was set up comprising of the Ministries of Trade, Finance and Lands, Gambia Revenue Authority, GIEPA, Policy and Delivery Unit of the Office of the President and the Department of Labour. He said during the first meeting of the taskforce, it was recommended that the Ministry of Trade request the National Audit Office and the Gambia Investment and Export Promotion Agency to work on an investigative report and the Ministry of Justice provide legal advice to the Ministry of Trade.

He said the meeting was on-going simultaneously with the sittings of the National Assembly.

He said the Ministry got the latest development that the Banjul Breweries were selling their assets. The Minister said he sent his Director of Investment and Industry to confirm and their sector general informed them that everything was intact.

“But I have further, come to know that they have really started selling their assets. We came to know that the soft drink part of the facility was sold to a local Gambian businessman who is not interested in the Breweries side but have consented to buy the soft drink part of the machinery,” the Minister said.

He said the Government cannot stop them from selling their properties because it is owned by a private company.

“We have several companies lining up to buy Banjul Breweries. People are still interested to buy the company and continue with the operation,” he said.

He said Banjul Breweries want to make their facility in the Gambia as sales deport while they produce in Senegal.

“This is what we are not going to accept,” the Minister said.

"Simple is good" & I strongly dislike politics. You cannot defend the indefensible.
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10744 Posts

Posted - 08 Sep 2020 :  13:59:50  Show Profile Send toubab1020 a Private Message  Reply with Quote


Sep 7, 2020, 12:38 PM | Article By: Sankulleh Gibril Janko

The minister for Information and Communication Infrastructure, Ebraima Sillah, says the government of The Gambia is working tirelessly to rescue Banjul Breweries Ltd.

In an exclusive interview with West Coast Radio on Tuesday, the minister claimed there was more to the closure of the liquor producer to just tax increment.

“Government is working around the clock to see that there is a rescue in this matter because this is one of the companies that actually keeps our tourism alive,” Sillah said. “Tourists that come to this country enjoy the local brews.”

Asked why the government would allow the Finance Ministry to skyrocket the tax that led to the problem, the information minister claimed there was more to it than just the tax.

“I think there was also blackmail in this thing. We know, I don’t want to go into details because the government's main preoccupation is to come up with solutions, we know that there was some blackmail in this.

“These people wanted to even sell this, they wanted to even reduce their capacity to bring in something from Senegal. Here we know all these things.

“Our preoccupation right now is to rescue this company and if there is a solution we will go for it,” the Information minister stressed.

Banjul Breweries, widely called Julbrew, the only brewery and producer of Julbrew beer and non-alcoholic drink has been shut down for about five months. Prior to the closure, the owners claimed they could not pay the increased tax imposed by the Gambia government.

The government’s new policy which hiked tax from 10 to 75 percent was seen as unfeasible by the owners leading to the closure of the company.

Officials claimed they paid D132 million for the whole of 2019 but the new tax policy had obliged the beer and non-alcohol producer to already pay D97 million from January to April 2020.

Government of The Gambia is set to miss millions of dalasis in revenue collection while hundreds of Gambians have lost their jobs as a result of the closure.

"Simple is good" & I strongly dislike politics. You cannot defend the indefensible.
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