LIBERIA'S PRIVATE REGULATORY AGREEMENT MIRED IN CONTROVERSY
The government of Liberia says the recent deal to transfer the country’s regulatory authority from the Ministry of Post and Telecommunications (MPT) to a private company known as Advance Topographic Development and Images (ATDI) is illegal and counterproductive to the state’s and the World Bank’s efforts to effect telecoms sector reform. Justice Minister Kabinah Ja’nah has described the deal as a usurpation ‘of the function of a government ministry’ and declared the action ‘null and void, unconstitutional and unacceptable as far as the transitional government is concerned’. On 25 February vice chairman Momo Johnson approved an agreement signed by the Minister for the MPT, giving ATDI powers to act as the telecoms regulatory agency. However, Kabinah Ja’nah is moving to nullify the agreement which he says was signed without the knowledge of the transitional chairman, Charles Gyude Bryant, and without the input or ratification of the World Bank.