Grand Kru County District #2 Representative Cllr. J. Fonati Koffa is urging the Liberia Telecommunications Corporation (LIBTELCO) to move quickly with services to the Liberian people as it has been granted a license to operate as a GSM Company in the country.
In his persuasive tribute to LIBTELCO, Rep. Koffa told scores of journalists that he is confident the government-owned GSM Company can provide world-class telecommunications products and services at cheaper, affordable prices for all Liberians that will enable growth in various sectors such as education, healthcare, banking, and energy for sustainable economic growth of the society.
Representative Koffa’s words of encouragement to LIBTELCO comes after some critics had doubted LIBTELCO’s capability to operate as a GSM Company.
The Liberia Telecommunications Authority (LTA) has granted LIBTELCO license to offer mobile network services after the 54th Legislature has amended the Telecommunications Act of 2007, Part IV Section 12 (2)(3)(4) and Section 13 (1) (2), to expand the functions of state-owned Liberia Telecommunications Corporation (LIBTELCO).
The amendment has effectively expanded LIBTELCO’s functions and role as a “revenue operator to contribute to the economy.”
Rep. Koffa’s indulgence came a day after LTA had officially announced that it has issued a license to LIBTELCO, the government’s telecommunications company, to operate like any other mobile network operator in the country.
This means LIBTELCO, which has been focused recently on the distribution of fiber optic internet service to homes, schools and offices, can now join the competition with the two service providers — Orange Liberia and Lonestar Cell MTN to provide mobile voice and data services.
According to the LTA, Liberians would now have a wider choice in determining the network of their convenience.
The granting of the license to LIBTELCO to operate mobile network comes amid conflict between the two GSM companies and the Liberia Telecommunications Authority over the implementation of the LTA’s surcharge mandate which led to sharp increment in prices of voice and data.
Addressing reporters Thursday, October 15, 2020, at a local hotel in Monrovia, Representative Koffa who chairs the House of Representatives’ Committee on Judiciary, welcomed the news about LIBTELCO’s license; noting that the decision is in the best interest of the country and its citizens.
“I am glad that LIBTELCO has a license and I will like LIBTELCO to move fast. What the two GSM companies did with the surcharges shouldn’t be seen as a victory for them. This is not a victory for the GSM companies. All the nonsense they are pouring is to save their faces. They should give what they have taken from the Liberian people. Had the people not been sensible, it would have been a different thing. They put the citizens against the government,” he said.
Meanwhile, the Grand Kru District #2 Representative has hailed his colleagues for the approval of a portion of the US$590,000 in the 2020/2021 Fiscal Budget he sought in order to undertake several infrastructure development projects and to procure essential items for the health and education sectors within his county.
Though he did not state the percentage of the US$590k which was approved by the Legislature, he considered the approval as “notable.”
Rep. Koffa, in his communication, outlined that of the US$590,000 requested, US$150,000 will be allocated for the renovation of the Sasstown High School. He said since the school was built in 1982, it has undergone no renovation and its maintenance budget has reduced severely. The amount, he defended, was necessary to prevent the collapse of the already deteriorating structure and enable hundreds of the students to have access to quality education.
For the Barclayville Central High School with similar problems as Sasstown High, Rep. Koffa also proposed US$150,000. The Principal high school within the County’s Capital also plays host to the Grand Kru Vocational and Technical College and is nearly unusable during the raining season as huge-gaping holes are visible from the roof.
Rep. Koffa is also proposing that US$100,000 of his requested amount should go to the Rally Time Hospital. The premier referral hospital is currently undergoing renovation by a German NGO. However, he noted that the County Health Team will need the money to purchase equipment and other upgrades to compliment this work, adding, “It will be useless to have a brand-new hospital that is unusable for lack of equipment.”
Another US$100,000 was allotted to the Domo Nimene Hospital, a primary healthcare facility serving new mothers and infants in Sasstown. According to Rep Koffa, the fund, when approved will be used to upgrade the equipment as the hospital is about to be renovated by the Germans.