Comium staff pleads  with gov’t for support amid suspension

Oct 27, 2021, 1:19 PM | Article By: Pa Modou Cham

Comium staff yesterday gathered around the Comium building to express disappointment with the Public Utility and Regulatory Authority (PURA) and the Ministry of Communication and Infrastructure amid suspension as they pleaded with government’s support to lift the suspension.

Speaking on behalf of the staff, Joking Mendy, the marketing and sales assistants’ unit manager, Comium, explained that they have paid all the previous arrears owed to PURA except 2021 areas of D42 million that is due in December 2021. 

“As of now, we have settled all dues and we expect PURA to lift the suspension. Comium has been in existence for years and we never defaulted in paying our taxes or dues. We have contributed immensely to the development of this country in terms of fulfilling corporate social responsibility.  We have transformed lives and helped people, and we are the first company to introduce mobile internet.” 

He continued that PURA asked them to pay an amount which could have been negotiated because they made a commitment to paying D14 million. He said the amount was paid before they held their press conference and during the press conference, they promised to settle all the arrears if PURA or the ministry lifts all suspensions. 

He noted that the company is currently not providing any services to the people, saying that means PURA is depriving customers of enjoying the service from the company.

“We are currently not receiving anything. We can’t generate funds to pay PURA when they suspended us.  This is the company we depend on to feed our families and we have made plans for PURA to give us a chance but it seems difficult.”

Mr. Mendy told journalists that PURA asked for a technical investment plan and payment plan, which they provided but still no feedback. He said staffs are so concerned because since they wrote to PURA, they haven’t got any feedback from them. 

“They should have replied and told us the way forward but the silence is killing us. We are concerned about our jobs which are at stake. Even our vendors are losing because they bought credits but they couldn’t get their money back.”

Dwelling on PURA’s assertion that the government will look into means of considering the fate of the staff, Mr. Mendy indicated that the government never engaged them to discuss the way forward in securing their jobs.

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