Two members of the House of Representatives, Hon. Eugene F. Kpakar and Hon. Gabriel B. Smiths have in a Joint Statement on Tuesday, June 19th, called on the GSM mobile phone company, the Lonestar MTN to pay all fines and comply with penalties imposed by the Liberia Telecommunications Authority (LTA), so as to ensure full compliance with the laws of the Republic of Liberia.
The Lawmakers insisted that Lonestar MTN is in violation and must conform to all the regulations of the Liberia Telecommunications Authority (LTA), according Sections 34(a) and 7.71(d) of the Telecommunications Act of 2007.
Speaking at a press conference convened at the capitol hill on Tuesday 19th June, the two lawmakers from Lofa and Grand Bassa Counties' respectively disclosed that their assertion derived from a "candid investigation that they conducted recently."
"We are of the unwavering opinion that LTA's regulatory powers over service providers can be best described as a central bank and commercial banks kind of relationship, or simply put the traffic police and the taxi driver kind of analogy", they said.
"We are also of the firm opinion that Lonestar MTN must conform or be made to conform to all the regulations of the LTA and be made to pall all fines and penalties to ensure full compliance of the laws of the Republic of Liberia", they added.
According to the two lawmaker, the so-called leader of telecommunications, the Lonestar MTN, violated the 'Telecommunications Act of 2007' which variably necessitated the action of the LTA.
The lawmakers stressed that Lonestar MTN should submit to the LTA's imposed fine of US$225,000 order as it relates to the blocking of Cellcom calls to Lonestar in April 2011 as well as the US$500,000 fine for the unilateral shutdown of its network on November 7, 2012.
The two Representatives also requested the Lonestar MTN to abide by the LTA's decision of temporarily shutting down for a month, and transferring all its subscribers to an agreeable GSM Company, also for unilaterally restricting the calls of Comium to Lonestar.
"We are also using this medium to call all members of the three branches of government and the public in general to respect government institutions, and to support their statutory mandates for the good of Liberia and Liberians. Any attempt to disregard or undermine the very institution you created is tantamount to shooting yourself in the leg or stabbing yourself in the back. A hint for a wise is quite sufficient," Rep. Eugene F. Kpakar averred.
They divulged that the Lonestar MTN was in error regarding the inter-connection regulations of Liberia, and is also in breach of the international gateway license terms on the issue of broad band being routed from a company in Ivory Coast.
"Lonestar is acquiring 3G through an illegal acquisition of an international gateway constitutes a serious breach of its license terms as opposed to 2G data application", they noted.
"In view of those clear infractions and flagrant disregard of the Telecommunication Act of 2007, we are highly of the opinion that the LTA which came into force as a result of a legislative enactment must be respected to the latter, and her powers to regulate service providers be scrupulously adhered to without unnecessary pre-conditions," the two Representatives said according to the House Press Bureau.
Finance Ministry Launches "Let's Do It" Clean Up Campaign
Employees of the Ministry of Finance hit the hallways, stairs, offices, bathrooms and surroundings of the building Wednesday, as they participated in the Ministry's three-day major cleanup campaign launched by the Ministry under the theme "Let's Do It."
Under the leadership of Deputy Finance Minister for Administration, Jordan Sulunteh, the clean up exercise aims to give the Government's Treasury building a major facelift and to create an environment conducive for employees and taxpayers.
Minister Sulunteh said the exercise is being launched as the fiscal year comes to end to give the Treasury Building a facelift. He further noted that the involvement of employees will promote team spirit amongst employees.
During the three-day campaign, employees are expected to rid the building of litters, remove broken furniture, paint peeled walls, mop and polish floors, etc.
Meanwhile, the Finance Ministry has begun installing surface pipes to have running water in the building, the release concluded.