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President Koroma commissions fibre optic cable

President Koroma commissions fibre optic cable

Freetown Feb. (SLENA)- Vice President Alhaji Chief Sam Sumana yesterday joined President Earnest Bai Koroma at the official launch of the fibre optic cable at the Atlantic Bar and Restaurant,  Beach Road, Lumley.

Addressing audience at the ceremony, the special adviser to the president Hon. Alhaji Ibrahim Ben Kargbo said the government policy which resulted in the landing of the fibre optic is a deliberate venture by government to improve on ICT and telecommunications in the country, noting that the issue of poor telecommunication network and internet service in the country needed to be addressed.

While commending the efforts of the Vice President for steering the project to its present state, IB Kargbo said the ace project has given Sierra Leone the opportunity as a country to land the optic cable.

“When the World Bank agreed to land the optic cable in Sierra Leone, they also agreed to let Guinea and Liberia benefit from this project,“ Mr. Kargbo added and recalled that on the 10th of June 2010, Sierra Leone signed the agreement to modernize telecommunication in Sierra Leone in order to meet modern standards of communication.

He revealed that the fund given by the World Bank for the project was not a loan but a grant given to the country.

The Deputy High Commissioner for Sierra Leone to the Gambia, Madam Sadiata Sesay said as former deputy minister of information she was f privileged to be part of the starting of the landing of the fibre optic cable, adding that after several meetings held in France and many other places the project is finally being launched.

Chairman NATCOM, Mr. Seray Alpha Timbo expressed happiness to be part of the celebration of the landing of the F.O.C., saying NATCOM is the direct beneficiary of the project. He maintained that they would not have succeeded without the vision and efforts of President Koroma, noting that as regulator of telecommunication sectors they control the activities of mobile companies and encourage fair competition while generating revenue for the country.

He reaffirmed the commission’s commitment to ensuring that the WARCIP/SALCAB project succeeds.

 The Chairman, Sierra Leone Cable Limited, (SALCAB) Mr. Francis Davies said long before this time a sub- marine cable was landed in the country which eventually linked Nigeria and other countries, adding that history was repeating itself.

He noted that the core purpose of the project is for the full benefit of the end users and disclosed that nine competing enterprises in the country came together to see the success of the project, citing Lime Line Sierra Leone Limited, AFCOM, AIRTEL, AFRICELL, COMMUIM, amongst others. He thanked all other partners for helping in the work of the project.

The Minister of Information and Communication, Alhaji Alpha Kanu maintained that his ministry, in collaboration with NATCOM, is working hard to ensure that the project when completed will drastically reduce the expensive cost of communication on the public.

In his keynote speech, President Ernest Bai Koroma said the landing of the fibre optic cable is yet another milestone in the history of the country.  Apart from the optic cable, the President added, government is also working on another project called E- transformation. This he said will enhance E- Learning, E- Banking, E- Government. etc.

President Koroma assured all and sundry of the massive reduction in the cost of communication after the completion of the project, pointing out that the Ministry of Information and Communications and Telecommunication Companies are presently reviewing the Telecommunications Act 2006 as amended in 2009 to ensure fair play, efficiency and revenue generation for the government. 

While officially commissioning the landing of the fibre optic cable, the president thanked the World Bank for providing support to the project.


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