Gambia: NAWEC, Gamtel Non-Compliance Hampering PURAs Activities

The Public Utilities Regulatory Authority (PURA) has disclosed that the main defaulters of the regulatory fees charged to regulate entities have hampered their activities in the past two years.

During its presentation of the 2017 and 2018 of activity reports and financial statements on Monday 21 May 2019 before the Public Enterprises Committee (PEC) of the National Assembly, officials of the Authority said NAWEC and GAMTEL are the two main defaulters.

The officials said both Nawec and Gamtel regulatory fees compliance have not been encouraging despite considerations and engagement in 2017 and 2018.

They said the management of the authority over the recent years had a series of engagements with Nawec and Gamtel in order to encourage them in the settlement of their arrears as well as their current invoices but to no avail.

For both periods under review, 2017 and 2018, a fixed amount of D50,000 million per annum was invoiced to the Internet Service Providers (ISPs) in the Information and Communications sector. And for the energy sector, the Authority since 2008 has decided that the regulatory fees invoiced to NAWEC be fixed at D4,000,000 per annum instead of the maximum amount chargeable of 1.5% of Operator's annual turnover.

2017 Arrears

In 2017, Gamcel, Gamtel and Nawec were the three institutions whose non-compliance was not encouraging. Officials said their non-compliance continued to hamper the implementation of some of their regulatory activities in all the regulated sectors in aforesaid years.

Only one of the GSM Operators and four of the ISPs had fully paid their regulatory fees invoiced for 2017 as at December 31 2017. This excludes Gamtel, Nawec, Comium and Thomas Global Technologies.

"Out of the amount of D51 million budgeted as regulatory fees income, only D29 million was collected," officials said.

Gamtel alone had to pay D13 million in 2017, while Nawec was to pay D4 million .

However, Gamcel, Africell and Comium paid their balance in 2018.

2018 Arrears

Officials said out of the amount of D51 million budgeted as regulatory fees income, only D34 was collected. Gamtel and Nawec are the only defaulters in 2018 and PURA said their non-compliance continued to hamper the implementation of their activities in all the regulated sectors.

Only two of the GSM Operators and three of the IPSs have fully paid their regulatory fees invoiced for 2018 as at December 31, 2018. This excludes Gamtel, Nawec, AGUA and I Net World Co.

Gamtel's total arrears as at 2018 is pegged at D46 million , while Nawec's total arrears is at D20 million in 2018.

Meanwhile, the committee adjourned the meeting until Wednesday (today) for review and possible consideration.

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