By Olimatou Coker
Following the recent press release by the Public Utilities Regulatory Authority about a suspension notice to GSM operator Comium for failing to comply with licensing conditions, the Authority on Friday held a press conference to give clarity to issues surrounding the matter.
Yusupha M. Jobe, director general of PURA, confirmed Comium has been given 2 weeks to regularise so that they can resolve the current matter and not to move to the second level, which involves invoking suspension.
He revealed that they have had several discussions and issues with all providers but in this case, they had to issue a notice of suspension. “And by the way and contrary to what is being peddled on social media, the notice of suspension is not a suspension and this should be made very clear,” he said.
According to DG Jobe, two reasons prompted PURA to take these actions against Comuim, namely they have not been paying their licence and spectrum fees which is a regulatory requirement for every highest speed provider and, in accordance with their rules, all service providers are supposed to give information to PURA on their activities and especially on their plans of investment in critical sectors of the economy.
Also speaking, Matharr Touray, a senior economist at PURA, revealed that Comuim owes government D69.1M in license and spectrum fees for the year 2020 and 2021.
He said these are issues directly within PURA’s mandate but there are other outstanding debts that they owe to other state institutions.