COMIUM IN REGULATORY FEE SCANDAL as Liberia Commissions “Another Creditor”

Delinquent in its Social and Corporate Responsibility, delinquent in the payment of regulatory fees and delinquent in staff welfare, but evidently  the Comium Mobile Company that credit itself with the title of being one of the leading telecommunication companies in the country is not delinquent in collecting monies from Sierra Leoneans and providing them with poor mobile telecommunication services like its competitors. Mr. Joe Amara Bangali, a senior member of staff continues to defend the company and makes braggadocio statements about its US$50,000 promotions, but yet cannot pay its regulatory fees to NATCOM.

Mr. Bangali blamed NATCOM for rushing to the Bank with the cheque of Le1, 761,612,323 Billion, equivalents to US$430,000 at an exchange rate of Le4, 100.00 and requested for a special clearance. Having pointed out the desperation of NATCOM, he boastfully informed this medium that the money was paid on 2nd March, 2012 into NATCOM account. Sadly, it was sound and fury signifying nothing. On 2nd March, 2012, last Friday officials of the bank reported that the money has still not been paid into the account of NATCOM and every effort for the matter to be history remains futile. NATCOM is however accommodating the embarrassment on behalf of its client despite effort made for Comium to comply. “This amount is long outstanding, which Comium is dribbling the regulatory body left, right and centre” A source maintained.

The US$85Million investment that it’s CEO, Mr. Mike Carol is trumpeting every day and using it to intimidate some officials of the country’s regulatory body has not improved the lives of Sierra Leoneans, only its owners that are benefitting from the investment while Sierra Leoneans continue to be cheated everyday and moment with poor and unimproved service delivery.

The outstanding amount of Le1, 761,612,323 Billion (US$430,000) due NATCOM may be a tip of the real financial problem reportedly suffocating Comium. The Liberia Regulatory Commission (LRC) has found itself to be another victim of the company. Although, Mr. Bangali has denied the allegation that his establishment is not indebted to  the LRC, a very senior official of the company recently returned from Liberia where he made promises that all matters relating to payment, welfare of staff and other initiatives towards growth, improvement and establishment of the company would be handled shortly. As is usual with Chief Executives of Companies to make promises that are sometimes not fulfilled, so is the case with Comium. It is not known whether the financial indebtedness of Comium to NATCOM will end today, Monday 5th March, 2012 or continues to increase the adrenaline flow in the heart beats of Mr. Mike Carol and his management team.

Meanwhile, the company is accusing NATCOM officials of leaking out information to the press about its indebtedness and blaming them for receiving negative publicity. This they say has put them in a state of mockery to their competitors “We have competitors and shareholders” Mr. Bangali said. Before going to press over the weekend, this medium learnt that NATCOM is intending to institute an investigation into the leakage, which is an indication of protecting delinquent debtors. A source said NATCOM will find out how the information landed on the table of the editorial team of Standard times. It is not known whether both the Commercial and Access Banks would institute investigations too in an effort to capture the mole.



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