FRENCH COMPANY CONTRACTED AS OUTSOURCED REGULATOR IN LIBERIA PULLS OUT

Telecoms

ATDI, the French company that was contracted to act as an outsourced independent regulator has pulled out of Liberia. The Transitional Government of Liberia appointed the company on 26 February 2005 to take over the operation of the Liberian Telecommunication Regulatory Agency.

In April this year, Post and Telecommunications Minister Eugene Nagbe and Vice Chairman Wesley Johnson signed a USD2.2 million deal with ATDI but Chair Gyude Bryant cancelled the deal and ordered that the agreement be reviewed. There then followed a number of sharp disagreements between Government officials at Cabinet level.

For its part, ATDI said that it was not able to take on the contract because GSM frequencies had been issued without the usual legal and service obligations. Its announcement said: "The transitional government of Liberia has provided an exclusive, abusive and long term radio frequencies allocation to the GSM operators in Liberia without requiring any of the legal obligations such as frequencies allocations and service obligations.

The release indicates the ATDI has been receiving various financial request from the highest authorities of the transitional government that were considered "unfounded", discriminatory and non transparent for the undertaking of its mission.

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