Liberia: Senate Releases Final Report On LTA Probe

Telecoms

The Special Investigative Committee of the Liberian Senate setup to probe the controversial imposition of US$14 cents on all inbound by the Liberia Telecommunications Authority (LTA) Tuesday, April 17, 2012 released its final report and recommendations to the Plenary of the Liberian Senate. The Plenary of the Liberian Senate is the highest decision making body of the Liberian Senate. According to the report, the US$14 cents imposed on the inbound calls has no economic effect on local GSM subscribers.

The Special Investigative Committee was setup recently by the Senate Pro- Tempore, Gbezohngar Findley to probe the Liberia Telecommunications Authority (LTA) over the controversial imposition of the US$14 cents charged on all in-bound calls. The investigation was prompted by public outcry from GSM companies as to whether the US$14 cents would affect local GSM subscribers.

However, briefing the Plenary of the Liberian Senate, the head of the Special Investigative Committee Maryland County Senator John Ballout said local subscribers will not be affected by the extra tax of US$14cents. He pointed out that the US$14cents will also boost government's revenue generation in the communication sector as well encourage expansion.

At the same time, the Ballout's Committee recommended to the Senate Plenary that the LTA be mandated to ensure that the extra US$14 cents does not affect local subscribers by inflicting price of local calls. He further recommended that all money collected by the LTA on the 14 cents be deposited into the government consolidated revenue account at the Ministry of Finance.

The Maryland County lawmaker noted that it was unthinkable for the LTA's intention to use the revenue at its (LTA) own discretion. "What we disagree on is the fact that they have intended to use the extra US$14 cents at their discretion in building its institutional capacity. The Senate has no intent to stop whatever institutional capacity building the LTA wants to embark on, but it should be done through the budgetary process like every other government agency," he added.