Editorial Beware of “Investors!”

The Inquirer
Monrovia, Liberia

Distributed by

The Perspective
Atlanta, Georgia

Posted May 7, 2004

ON TUESDAY, A statement emanated from the office of NTLA Speaker George S. Dweh expressing grave concern over the number of licenses granted to GSM companies without careful assessment and scrutiny.

IN THAT STATEMENT, Speaker Dweh called on the Ministry of Post and Telecommunications to properly investigate GSM companies applying for licenses as well as ensuring that these entities are not given the same frequency as is being alleged in some quarters.

THE HOUSE SPEAKER, according to the statement signed by his press secretary, further expressed concern over the proliferation of GSM companies and the policy adopted by the Postal Affairs Ministry in assigning them frequencies.

SPEAKER DWEH FURTHER expressed fear that the way in which frequencies were being assigned by the Ministry of Post and Telecommunications would create enormous problems for the mobile phone industry in time to come.

ADDITIONALLY, THE STATEMENT quoted the Speaker as cautioning Liberians not to front for foreigners with the intention of selling licenses. Accordingly, he called on the NTLA Committee on Post and Telecommunications to work along with the Postal Affairs Ministry in reviewing all licenses and contracts already granted.

INDEED, WE TAKE delight in the Speaker’s statement because we are equally concerned about individuals and institutions desirous of doing business in Liberia under the canopy of helping to revamp the country’s economy after over a decade of civil conflict and war. Besides, recent reports that a particular company interested to get in the cell phone industry has criminal and fraudulent record.

WHILE IT IS true that the country needs every investment such as more GSM companies in its economic recovery program, it is imperative that the track records of these institutions and individuals be scrupulously checked to avoid investment agreement being signed with “bad companies, ” perhaps under different names.

IN VIEW OF this, it is important that the Ministry of Post and Telecommunications in collaboration with its relevant partners put in place the proper mechanism to protect our national interest.

WE ARE RAISING these issues because of experience in the past where some companies that expressed interest in investing in Liberia were later found to have criminal and corrupt records. Indeed, the country wants investment but not from curvatures, crooks and con men.

HONESTLY, LIBERIA NEEDS investors with sound, enviable and unquestionable track records. Watch out for so-called investors who want to exploit the present situation to rob the country! BEWARE!

© 2004: This article is copyrighted by The Inquirer newspaper (Monrovia, Liberia) and distributed by The Perspective (Atlanta, Georgia). All rights reserved.