GAMTEL, BANJUL—We know there are a lot of differences in opinion about MGI as a gateway manager. It is really alarming to see how much efforts are being made just to make sure MGI is not allowed back to manage the gateway.
We know gateway management started since 2006, and up to date, there were at least 5 – 6 gateway managers including Gamtel being the current. We want to be as independent as possible in our analysis of the situation.
We are made to understand that all the gateway management changes happened in the form of a sudden take over instead of a seamless handing over.
First, we need to look at the performance of each gate keeper in terms of average revenue they have been making as presented by Gamtel. We have information about how much all past gatekeepers have been paying out to Gamtel as Gamtel shares until in 2013 when the former president yaya JAMMEH directed TELL to divert all of gamtel’s shares to an account in the central bank.
Find attached an executive directive from the office of the president to that effect.
The signature on thé minutes was Mr. Suso’s, the then Ag. MD when Sanyang was arrested.
We have come across correspondences from Gamtel management to the office of the president and from the office of the president to Gamtel way back in 2013 and 2014. These were appeal letters back and forth about the office of the president to reconsider the decision of diverting all the gateway revenues from Gamtel to the central bank.
Let’s get to the bottom of the current situation. Ever since MGI’s contract was terminated in July 2017, Gamtel took over the management of the same gateway. This was as a result of a recommendation from a task force. It could be noted that this task force was setup by president barrow to look into the affairs of the gateway during former president Yaya JAMMEH’s time. This task force report recommended that Gamtel management could do it and do it better without compromising quality of service and revenue assurance better than MGI.
This decision was seen by many Gambians as a well thought decision of the authorities. None, including all the service providers, I.e the ISP, the gsm operators and even those who are not registered businesses and are terminating traffic, had any issues with that decision. From an independence point of view, we believe that there is a very big interest of some lobbyist groups for this change but we will find out about that later.
It can be noted that revenues earned from this national asset should go a long way to help Gamtel and the Government in addressing national development agenda.
To implement this directive, Gamtel had to identify a partner and develop a strategy by setting up a bypass as it has always happened for any gateway takeover in the past. This all happens unbeknown to the gate keeper at that time.
Who was Gamtel’s strategic partners and what has become the outcome of Gamtel’s performance. This is the most important question supposed to be coming from ordinary Gambians. We need to know what the stake holders take on this is. Who are the stake holders. First is the Board of directors, then the minister of information and communication infrastructure, the minister of finance and economic affairs, PURA, interns of quality of service and or the existence of any potential signs of fraud.
All of the stake holders mentioned above should be concerned about the quality of service, fraudulent activities and most importantly the promised monthly revenue that both the task force and the then managing director of Gamtel (SUSO) promised in their report.
You may recall that this gateway management transfer to Gamtel happened since June 2017, and is about 10 months since then. The ten months was observed without any protest, no arguments about Gamtel managing it at all, no one wrote against it, not even the ministry of finance querying about Gamtel’s very poor collection or nine at all.
Some days ago, we read a correspondence from the office of the president re engaging MGI to a negotiation table in anticipation for them to continue with the gateway management since Gamtel was proven not to be able to do it.
Find attached a copy of the letter to MGI.
This has proven to simply be misleading and a collection of fabricated stories from recommendations on the termination of Mgi’s contracts, whilst the task force further recommended that Gamtel on their own, can do it even better. At the time, these were the basis for which conclusions were made to abruptly terminate Mgi’s contract without their knowledge.
Let’s look into the most recent issue just before Mgi’s contract was terminated. Our sources have revealed that from July 2014 to April 2017, representing 35 months of operations as a gate keeper, MGI has paid 46.3 million US dollars to a special projects accounts in the central bank of The Gambia. This represents 1.3228 million US dollars average monthly revenue when this is compared to all other gateway managers, MGI turns out to be better interns of what they presented as monthly revenues.
How did MGI managed to do this? We will get back to you on that with clear information later.
The same sources have shown that Gamtel took over responsibility of managing the gateway from 7th. July 2017 to December ending 2017, representing about 6 months of operation. A total of 2.5 million dollars was what Gamtel declared as revenues over 6 months period, meaning an average monthly revenue of 416.7 thousand dollars.
Something must have significantly gone wrong here. Has this difference been a concern to the task force set up by the government, the board of directors of Gamtel, the ministry of information and communication infrastructure and most importantly the ministry of finance and economic affairs. By a way of simple calculation, and making comparisons to the latest payments of MGI during this regime, with an average monthly payment of 1.5 millions, it is clear that Gamtel management has incurred about 70% losses in revenue. Please we must agree that all the traffic in and out are the same, WhatsApp, messenger, Skype and all other social media platforms remain the same as before.
What is the explanation to these losses?
Why do we still keep quiet about it? Don’t worry, we will get back to you on this later.
As it stands now, there is a smoking gun that president Barrow needs to investigate. The insider is working on this conclusions for a definite answer. We will be back soon with some evidence next time.
Written By An Insider