By Sorie Fofana………………………
In April this year, NATCOM introduced Multiple Gateways System, which allows GSM operators to own and operate their separate gateways.
The introduction of Multiple Gateways saw the end of Teltac’s monopoly over the management of Sierra Leone’s International Gateway System.
Whether one likes it or not, Teltac provided professional services in the management of Sierra Leones’s International Gateway System in voice traffic.
After Teltac’s contract was hurriedly and foolishly terminated in April this year, some of us warned the government that, that decision was ill-advised and even unnecessary at the time.
By the time Teltac left, there was no proper mechanism put in place by NATCOM, to effectively and efficiently monitor the International Gateway System.
As a result of that, Sim Box fraud intensified and the government, as well as telecommunications operators lost huge revenue to criminal traffic operators especially some Lebanese nationals.
The NATCOM Chairman, Mr. Momoh Konte admitted at a press conference yesterday that, after Teltac left in April 2016, the government was losing close to a million United States dollars a month in revenue generated from the International Gateway System.
Teltac was contributing close to US$25m (Twenty five Million United States dollars) annually to the Consolidated Revenue Fund from proceeds received from the management of the International Gateway System.
After a thorough evaluation of bids submitted by twelve companies (eleven International and one local), Subah Infosolutions of Ghana, were yesterday declared the proud winners of the contract to monitor the International Gateway System.
Subah is thought to be a credible and renowned company in Africa. They are currently providing similar and other services in Ghana and Guinea respectively.
The evaluation process was seamless and very credible. It was witnessed by both the World Bank and DFID.
Infact, the evaluation process has been given a clean bill of health by no less an institution than NPPA (National Public Procurement Authority).
We hope that, Subah will live up to the expectations of the people of Sierra Leone, by eradicating Sim Box fraud thus leading to an increase in revenue collection.
We salute members of the evaluation committee that took their time to go through the tedious but very credible process of recruiting Subah Infosolutions to carry out the monitoring of our International Gateway System.
We also thank the Chairman of NATCOM, Momoh Konte for ensuring that, the evaluation process of recruiting a suitable gateway monitor was done in a fair and transparent manner.
Once again, we wish Subah goodluck as they expand their services into Sierra Leone. Their efforts at the Government Printing Department did not go in vain.
Thank you, Subah!