Following the huge cost of operations and the current global recession, Civil Society Organizations (CSOs) have called on the government of Sierra Leone to increase the tariff of the mobile companies.
They made this call in a public-private dialogue at Country Lodge in Freetown last Friday 2 December.
The Dialogue was done in the presence of the regulator, National Telecommunication Authority (NaCTA), the Ministry of Information and Communication and the three mobile companies currently operating in Sierra Leone.
The mobile companies made a presentation on their current predicament, explaining that inflation and cost of operation in the country have skyrocketed and they are impacting negatively on their operation.
They said that if there is no increment in the cost of the tariff, they will have no option but to close some of their operation sites in the rural areas as well as redundant some staff.
The Minister of Information and Communication, Mohamed Rahman who briefly attended the program said that he was not against tariff increment but wanted the people to have a say in the whole idea of increment.
He said that one thing the government will not tolerate is redundancy of citizens who are working in the mobile companies and that another thing they will not tolerate is the closure of their services in the rural area.
Commissioner Ibrahim Kabia of the Consumer Protection Agency said that the mobile companies have presented their case and that it is very legitimate but that they must also consider the plight of the consumers and in that light, he proposed that a minimal increment should be done on the backdrop of affordability, accessibility, acceptability and awareness
This was supported by William Sao Lamin of Accountability Now, the Women’s Forum Network, Okada asnd Keke Riders Union.
The signing of a communique climaxed the occasion.