The Government of Sierra Leone yesterday capitulated to World Bank pressure by agreeing on allowing GSM operators to switch on their individual gateways tomorrow. The International Gateway System was liberalised in March last year, following serious pressure from the World Bank. The Bank has agreed to provide technical support to NATCOM (National Telecommunications Commission) to enable it monitor the multiple gateways, albeit temporarily.
NATCOM lacks the capacity and technical knowhow to effectively monitor the multiple gateways.
Slone Telecom Limited had been awarded a contract by NATCOM for the monitoring of the International Gateway System as far back as February 2015.
Unfortunately, the Commission unilaterally cancelled the contract with Slone Telecom Limited for “Unforeseen circumstances”.
Before the cancellation of the gateway monitoring contract, Slone Telecom Limited had brought in sophisticated state-of-the-art equipments to effectively and efficiently monitor the liberalized International Gateway System.
Slone have meanwhile, taken legal action against NATCOM and an Interim Ex Parte Injunction had been slammed on NATCOM by the High Court, restraining it from recruiting any agent for the monitoring of the International Gateway System.
On Monday, the International Court of Arbitration with headquarters in Paris, France gave NATCOM thirty days to respond to a Request for Arbitration filed in the Court against the Commission by Slone Telecom Limited or judgment in default will be delivered in favour of Slone Telecom Limited.
Meanwhile, the Attorney General and Minister of Justice, Joseph Kamara had told the Global Times that his office was carefully studying the matter.