Over nine hundred Orange Money Agents and the Native Consortium and Research Centre, have commended the Parliamentary Oversight Committee on Information and Communication, for ordering Orange Money SL Ltd,to give back the 6% Commission and pay agents their 38% dues, effective immodestly.
According to a press release from the consortium, the move by Orange Money to unilaterally deduct 6% from the agents' commission in late last quarter of 2020, brought a lot of discomfort to only the agents but customers as well.
"In most cases, some agents had no choice but to pass the cost by levying extra charges on consumers who transfer or receive money through mobile money. The Native Consortium, who has been the De facto leader in consumer protection, saw the action as another cheating by the back door and a double jeopardy on the part of the agents and the consumers nationwide."
According to them, from February to April,2021, they had several engagements with Orange Money, representatives of the agents and NATCOM, to avoid loss and discomfort to the consumers, agents and even the Orange money, but all effort proved futile.
"The Consortium held press conferences to report the matter to the press and further informed Parliament and NATCOM about the issue. That was the time the Parliamentary Oversight Committee on Information and Communications invited NATCOM, The Native Consortium, Representatives of the Agents and the Top Management of Orange SL to Parliament in May 2021.We all submitted our position including the Agents on the removal of the 6% Commission that was taken by ORANGE," the release states.
It further states that Parliament ordered the agents to suspend the strike action and ask Orange Money to see reasons to give back the 6% commission.
It narrates that the agents suspended the countrywide strike action, but Orange remained recalcitrant.
"The PCIC set a committee led by Hon. Ibrahim Alie Sesay Aka Hon. Koyo of Const. 112 Western Area. Hon Abdul Latiff Sesay of Const. 075 Port Loko City, Edmond Abu Representative of Consumers, Mr. Ben Foday from NATCOM and the CEO of ORANGE MONEY SL Ltd. to meet with the Agents and report back to parliament. The Committee met twice in two months at the Office of The Native Consortium, 42 Siaka Steven Street, yet Orange Money could not offer anything to negotiate on."