To Raise More Revenue For Gov’t, A New Group To Monitor Int’l Calls Has Been Established

GNN Liberia investigation has uncovered the establishment of a new company, the Telecommunication International Alliance (TIA) is to monitor all incoming and outgoing calls as per arrangement between it as an International Gateway Monitor and the Liberia Telecommunication Authority (LTA) has reportedly started its operation, the TIA, according to was amongst five companies that took part in the bid which it won, but one of the companies took exception to the result of the bidding committee and took the issue to court.

Efforts by our staff to establish which one of the courts at the Temple of Justice on Capitol Hill that is handling this case is still ongoing, as our staff is doing everything possible to reaching out on the issue relating to the dissatisfaction of one of the companies that allegedly lost and is pushing forward doe redress.

However, information gathered by this outlet further revealed that five companies that took part in the bid were Stratum Telecom, Telecommunication International Alliance, Waterline Services, Zone Voice and SIGOS with the Liberia Telecommunication Authority (LTA) promulgated the entire arrangement aimed at raising more revenue for the Liberian Government.

According to an Order of the LTA-0011-07-31-15 in the possession of the GNN and published by the Liberia Telecommunication Authority (LTA), states “Pursuant to part III section 11 (1) (R) and part IV section 16 (2) of the Liberia Telecommunication Authority hereby issues and publishes the following order establishing the regulatory surcharge (s) for both incoming and outgoing international voice traffic.

The order further states that all international incoming and outgoing voice traffic shall be captured and reported to the LTA by all service providers in accordance with the amended International Traffic Regulations, and that all international inbound calls terminating into Liberia shall incur a regulatory surcharge of US$0.14 per minute to be paid to the Liberia Telecommunication Authority by the terminating service providers, or in the case of a transited call, by the transiting service provider.

The LTA Order also said all international outbound calls originating from Liberia shall in incur a regulatory surcharge USD$0.05 per minute to be paid to the LTA by the originating service provider, and all fees collected pursuant to this Order shall be properly accounted for in accordance with amended International Traffic Regulations (LTA-REG-0005) by the service provider terminating, transiting or originating international calls and shall be turned over to the LTA monthly.

The Order concluding said the LTA shall submit the relevant monthly request for payment within five business days subsequent to the preceding month. Service providers shall pay LTA within forty-five (45) days after receiving the monthly request, the Order which took effect  on the 31st of July 2015 was signed by five officials of the LTA including its than Chairperson, Madam Angelique Weeks.

The Company, the International Gateway Monitor (IGM) was previously managed by Sheikh Cherif M. Abdallah, Chairman of CONEX Petroleum Group of Companies during the regime of former President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf is currently headed by the former Chief Executive Officer of former Cellcom Liberia GSM Company.

According to our investigation, some former top executives of Cellcom Liberia have also been placed at the IGM to manage its affairs with the arrival of modern equipment in order to add professionalism in the monitor of all incoming and outgoing international calls aimed.

An official of the IGM who declined to be named, speaking to our staff confirmed the five cent cut on each incoming and outgoing international calls, and further referred our staff to the LTA.

Effort by our staff to get the Chairman of the Board of Commissioners at the  Liberia Telecommunication Authority (LTA), Mr. Alvin Brown, was told is currently out of the country.

Investigation continues.

 

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About Cholo Brooks 7568 Articles
Joel Cholo Brooks is a Liberian journalist who previously worked for several international news outlets including the BBC African Service. He is the CEO of the Global News Network which publishes two local weeklies, The Star and The GNN-Liberia Newspapers. He is a member of the Press Union Of Liberia (PUL) since 1986, and several other international organizations of journalists, and is currently contributing to the South Africa Broadcasting Corporation as Liberia Correspondent.