#Editorial

On Comium suspension!

Oct 7, 2021, 11:37 AM

One of the most captivating and fascinating features innovation has brought in this last-generation is the Global System for Mobile Communications. With advances in science and modern tech, people could easily communicate in different destinations with a click of a button.

Though, it has advantages and disadvantages, but the good side it also brought us along are immense.

It is in the news that Comium Gambia GSM operator, one of the Gambia’s largest and the third Global System for Mobile Communications, is being handed a month suspension.

The suspension, which took effect on Tuesday, was handed over by the country’s Ministry of Information and Communication Infrastructure. ‘

The suspension came following the company’s default to pay arrears which amounts to millions.

Officials say, in total Comium owed the government a sum of D69M, out of which D14M, has already been settled, according officials. This includes the company 2021 license fee, which is not yet due.

However, the company at a presser convened on Thursday, expressed their resolve and commitment to pay all dues owed to the Gambian government as soonest if the Public Utilities and Regulatory Authority (PURA) lifts suspensions and allows them to operate fully. 

This move would no doubt have a significant impact on the company’s subscribers and employees.

Official estimates indicate that Comium has over 150,000 subscribers. This latest move, mean that the subscribers would not have access to their normal lines for one month, provided that they’ve settled their dues

Business wise this is not good for the company’s rating. This move will also force my subscribers to opt for any GSM company.  

The management of the company should have tabled payment plans with the government to reach a common solution. We all know many businesses are experiencing challenging times amid the covid-19 pandemic.

Again, the company employed a number of Gambians, who are now rendered jobless. Looking at the economic challenges in the country, authorities should have engaged in the company more.

Recently, the company acquired a new international investor, with whom it signed a management agreement with, aimed at resolving all the current financial and network issues including bringing 4G and 5G to the Gambia at a later stage.

The move is to position the company on a right footing despite challenges it is going through.

Creating job opportunities should be at the heart of any government agenda. But the latest move is the least expected of a government, who claimed to champion youth employability. Further engaging them would have generated additional income into the coffers.

“ To believe in ‘the greater good’ is to operate, necessarily, in a certain ethical suspension.”

Joan Didion

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