Following recent amendment by the House of Representatives of the 2007 Act of the Liberia Telecommunications Corporation (LIBTELCO) the Chairman of the House Statutory Committee on Judiciary, Grand Kru County electoral district # 2 Representative, J. FonatiKoffa, has strongly backed expansion of the operational services of the state operator to, amongst other activities, move into GSM services.
“The clarity is, we did not give them right as a GSM operator, LIBTELCO as a national operator, they already have such right. They can do GSM, infrastructure and other telecommunications services”, Cllr. Koffa said.
Speaking recently in Monrovia on an online media platform, “Bridge Radio Africa” he indicated that the recent amendment was intended to strike a balance with the Liberia Telecommunications Authority (LTA) regarding certain privileges they should have as a national operator, adding, “There is this inherence tension between LIBTELCO and LTA, so the amendment was intended to lay to bed the tension.”
He added that it is against this backdrop that the Telecommunications Committee in its oversight functions thought it wise to proffer an amendment to expand the entity’s operational services, and at the same time give more value to the money of the Liberian people.
The Grand Kru Lawmaker explained that LIBTELCO expanding to GSM Services will led to more economic benefits for the country.
“The question now is when LIBTELCO goes to LTA, will they pay US$15million for license that a private operator will pay, that question is no…because, it means, you are asking the government to pay money to the same government, even if, there will be payment, it has to be done in a way that will bring stability.”
He said more importantly, the security sector and the government sector depend on a private operator, recalling that sometimes ago, there were accusations that a private operator shutdown operations for political reasons, stressing the need to have a national operator, which no private operator can shut down.
Rep. Koffa is optimistic that if the national operator expanded services to GSM, the government can empower the operation to move to certain underserved areas like his native Grand Kru, where citizens currently do not benefit GSM services.
LIBTELCO is a telecommunications company providing services in Liberia. As a national operator, it provides telephone, internet, fax and radio services to greater Monrovia.
By E. J. Nathaniel Daygbor