NATCOM SUSPENDS COMIUMFebruary 6, 2014
…US$874,552.23 License fees dangle
Mr. Ziad Tout, popularly known among his kind as the “Mr. Fix it” who was sent from Beirut-Lebanon to quick fix the rottenness of Comium has not been able to carry out his work. Instead of doing what he was instructed to do in Sierra Leone, he was busy addressing self while time has now caught up with Comium to receive the first bullet from the Country’s Regulator, The National Telecommunication Commission(NATCOM)
It would be recalled that Ziad Tout came to Sierra Leone as a visitor and later transformed himself into an expertriate in Telecommunication without observing protocols and obtaining the correct credentials from the Ministry of Labour and Employment and the Sierra Leone Immigration Services.
Alas, despite the dodging and diving, NATCOM was too fast for him; with little or no knowledge that the Commission was stockpiling evidence for action that no Court of law would find the institution to have done the wrong thing.
Smelling the odour afar,the Commercial Manager, Mr. Joe Amara Bangali called it quit before the deadline of 3rd February, 2014 could slammed him the offence of conspiracy to operate a Mobile Telecommunication Company illegally.
Mr. Joe Amara Bangali resigned on Monday, 27th February 2014, leaving behind Ziad Tout allegedly busy collecting what could benefit him best.
In a letter dated 23rd January, 2014 to the Managing Director of Comium(SL), 30D Wilkinson Road under the caption “RE: SUSPENSION OF LICENSE AND OF THE UTILIZATION OF THE RESOURCESASSIGNED TO COMIUM(SL) LIMITED FOR THE PROVISION OF TELECOMMUNICATION SERVICES”(See letter published in this edition). The letter was copied to various Heads of Government Institutions, State House and Managing Directors of all Commercial Banks in the Country informing them of its latest action, which according to NATCOM was done in the interest of the subscribers and Comium as the Company is now over burdened with indebtedness that clearly points to bankruptcy.
The action of NATCOM has been described as too late at the time, as subscribers had since been expecting such a patriotic action before this time. However, it has giving them hope that the Commission has stopped the talking and issuing of press releases and can now bite when all cautions have failed.
In the letter, NATCOM drew the attention of the Managing Director about the Company’s indebtedness to the Commission to the tune of US$874,552,53. This includes license fees entitled to the Sierra Leone Government.
The concluding part of the suspension letter states “Please be warned that a minimum fine of five times the license fee shall be imposed should Comium(SL) Ltd operate under suspension pursuant to the Telecommunication Act. There shall be an additional fine of US$100,000. (One Hundred Thousand United States Dollars) for each day Comium(SL)Ltd continues to operate under suspension”
The deadline given was 3rd February,2014, but despite the deadline, Comium (SL)Ltd has been operating, disregarding the suspension.