Gambia’s state-owned telecom company, Gamtel has not received a dime out of millions of dollars generated by its international gateway, its managing director, Sulayman Susso said.
Telecom company and its cellular subsidiary, Gamcel are facing blackmail and sabotage from an international biller, MGI, which was contracted by the country’s ex-regime.
Susso made the disclosure during in an interview with Fatou Touray and Nyang Njie during the Kerr Fatou Show to be aired on GRTS on Thursday evening.
Former President Yahya Jammeh moved national telecom from the Ministry of Information to the State House, giving him direct access and total control of the company and its resources.
Jammeh’s office gave MGI the contract to collect millions of dollars from international call termination fees and build a billing system for Gamcel.
The state’s information ministry was kept out of the contract and had no part in forming the agreement Mr. Jammeh had with MGI. Jammeh is suspected of swindling millions, most of it coming from Gamtel’s gateway project.
Parliament has been told that the ex-self-serving ruler spent at least $147 million (D5.89 billion dalasis) in the last three years of his rule, excluding off-book squander of state funds.
MGI has shut down Gamcel’s billing system in protest of the Gambia’s new governments cancellation of its gateway contract. Gambian authorities remain steadfast, refusing to reinstate the agreement.
MGI is holding the Gambia’s telecommunication system at ransom. Gamtel and its subsidiary Gamcel will be losing at least $2 million (D80 million dalasis) a month as the crisis with the Swiss-based company continue.