Parliamentary Committee on Information and Communication

Sierra Leoneans may be eager to know what is the cause of the ongoing enigma at the National Telecommunication Commission (NATCOM) that has prompted the unlawful suspension of the Director General Maxwel Massaqoui by the  Minister of Information and communication, Mohamed Rahman Swaray.

Well as usual deals and counter deals are normally the causes that lead to fallout of rogues, insiders stated.

That the whole war has to do with the Gateway Contract for which there are competing interests- the Ministry has its own interest while NATCOM has its own interest.

The Gateway is the system through which all international calls coming in and going out of Sierra Leone go through; generating millions of dollars monthly, if not weekly.

It’s supposed to be operated and managed by NATCOM, but NATCOM does not have the capacity to do so and as such, contracted agent with the requisite capacity to do so.

During the Monopoly era, the Gateway was managed and operated by Sierratel who contracted Teltac, owned by popular Lebanese Business Man Hisham Mackie for which Mackie made millions of dollars.

NEW AGE gathers that the management of NATCOM with support of some people at the Ministry of Finance wanted to bring SLONE back whose contract was terminated by the former Government but that the Ministry of Information and Communication with support from some people at State House wanted the contract to be given to a company called BLUE.

During the days of the former government of President Koroma, Dr Tom Obaleh  and Mohamed Bangura were relieved as Chairman and Director General of NATCOM for the same gateway conundrum

It is true that after the World Bank supported liberalization of the gateway and since then, there has been a tug of war over this hot potato-from Teltac to SLONE, to Suba INFOSOLUTION and now who’s next?

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