22 January 2014

Liberia: LTA Commissioners Confess

The Board of Commissioners of the Liberia Telecommunication Authority (LTA) says the entity lacks essential equipment to effectively monitor and manage service providers in the country.

The Board said some companies are capitalizing on this shortfall to defraud the Government of Liberia of legitimate revenues. The Commissioners made the statement Monday when they appeared for confirmation hearing before the Senate Committee on Posts and Telecommunications at the Capitol Building.

They also said the Commission is finding it difficult to collect fees owed it by some service providers due to "judicial" bottlenecks.

According to them, whenever the Commissioners want to revoke the operating licenses of indebted companies and seek court action, the court usually places a stay order on their decision.

They noted that one of the problems confronting the LTA is the fact that it has not been able to have access to all the revenue being generated by the sector as stipulated in the constitutional provision that created the Authority.

The Commissioners, however, informed the Senators that despite the challenges, they are doing everything possible to improve the communication sector of Liberia.

Commissioners who appeared before the Senate Committee on Posts and Telecommunications included Angeline Weeks, Chairman; and Harry Yuan, Henry Benson and B. Anthony McCritty, Commissioners. They were nominated by President Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf and their names forwarded to the Liberian Senate last year for confirmation. In brief remarks, the Chairman of the Senate Committee of Posts and Telecommunications, John Ballout acknowledged the achievements of the LTA under the current team. Although the Committee is yet to confirm the nominated Commissioners, Senator Ballout said they have performed to expectation over the years.

Meanwhile, the Senate Committee on Posts and Telecommunications has called on President Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf to nominate the fifth Commissioner to complete the LTA Board of Commissioners.

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