LIBTELCO To Become GSM Operator

Alphonso Toweh
Read Time:2 Minute, 59 Second

-House Amends 2007 Telecom Act

The Liberia Telecommunications Corporation (LIBTELCO) is poised to becoming a GSM Operator if the Liberian senate concurs with the House of representatives to amend the Telecommunications Act of 2007 Part IV Section 12 (2)(3)(4) and Section 13 (1) and (2) to expand the functions of the institution.

Members of the House of Representatives during its Tuesdaysession, voted to amend the Telecommunications Act of 2007 Part IV Section 12 (2)(3)(4) and Section 13 (1) and (2).

The expansion of the amendment relates to licensed service providers including expansion of the functions of the National Operator on the structure (role) of the Liberia Telecommunications Corporation (LIBTELCO) as a ‘revenue operator,’ to contribute towards the national budget.

A Joint Committee on Post & Telecommunications; Ways, Means and Finance and Judiciary  was tasked with the responsibility to do assessments of the instrument after which they reported to the plenary of the House of Representatives following a three-week’s public hearing and consultations thus recommended to the plenary.

The Joint Committee in their reporter said the amendment of those provisions of the Telecommunications Act of 2007 as cited herein will enable the Government-owned Corporation ‘LIBTELCO’ to provide world-class telecommunications products and services at cheaper at affordable prices for all Liberians that will enable growth of various sectors, such as education, healthcare, banking, energy and serving the masses, at large, for a sustainable economic growth of our society.

They added that in an effort to counter the devastating impact of COVID-19 pandemic on the economy and to support maximum returns on internal resources government for economic recovery, we strongly believe that amending the provisions of the Telecommunications Act of 2007 to expand LIBTELCO’s functions as a National Operator, will have a positive effect on the economy and will enable growth of various sectors, such as education, healthcare, banking, energy and serving the masses, at large.

“Hon. Speaker and distinguished colleagues, the Committees are convinced to recommend to this noble body to amend Section 12 sub-sections 2, 3, 4 & 5, Section 13 sub-sections 1 & 2 and Schedule A of the Telecommunications Act of 2007, and to subsequently forward to the Liberian Senate for concurrence” the Joint Committee said in their report.

The instrument was introduced by Maryland County District #3 Representative, Isaac Roland and was read in open plenary on July 9, 2020, turned over to the Committee’s on Post & Telecommunications; Ways, Means and Finance and Judiciary.

Speaking to legislative reporters after the passage of the bill, Rep. Roland expressed thanks to his colleagues for making a decision which he considered as new dawn for the telecommunication sector of the Liberian republic.

In his words, the expansion of the scope of operation of the institution is going to greatly help Liberian youth who are studying Internet Technology(IT). 

Rep. Roland, who is also the chairman on the House’s committee on Post & Telecommunications said the amendment will enable the Government-owned to provide world-class telecommunications products and services to meet its customers’ needs and to make fitting contributions to the national budget for execution and implementation of government’s Pro-poor Agenda for Prosperity and Development (PAPD).

With this, if the bill is concurred with by the Liberian Senate and subsequently signed into law by President George M. Weah, it means that Government own LIBTELCO will be into competition with  Lonestar Cell MTN and Orange Liberia who are the two current service providers in the Liberian Republic.

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About Post Author

Alphonso Toweh

Alphonso Toweh Alphonso has  been in the profession for over twenty years. He has worked for many international media outlets including: West Africa Magazine, Africa Week Magazine, African Observer and did occasional reporting for CNN, BBC World Service, Sunday Times, NPR, Radio Deutchewells, Radio Netherlands. He is the current correspondent for Reuters. Mr. Toweh holds first MA with honors in International Relations and a candidate for second master in International Peace studies and Conflict Resolution.
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