GSM operator Comium has expressed disappointment in PURA’s decision to suspend the network.

On Tuesday, information minister Ebrima Sillah suspended the GSM operator for one month after it failed to pay off a D65M debt in licenses and spectrum fees.

The GSM operator yesterday sent home at least 100 staff as it continues to battle the regulator.

However on Wednesday, Comium has broken its long silence since the suspension notice earlier last month.

It said: “Comium who recently acquired a new international investor with whom it signed a management agreement in the objective of resolving all the current financial and network issues including bringing 4G and 5G to Gambia at a later stage, was shocked by PURA’s decision to suspend the network on October 5, 2021.

“This surprising news came after thorough positive meetings that were held between Comium new management and PURA, in which Comium and its new international investor showed a sign of goodwill by paying the amount of 14,000,000 Dalasi of its gross dues, and also expressed its determination to pay out the remaining amount, without even relating this payment to its due receivable of 21,000,000 Dalasi from Gamtel.

“Despite the dues from Gamtel, Comium new management and its international investor are still committing to proceed immediately in settling the remaining, and they shall provide within one month period, a full-year of network upgrade plan; provided that PURA stops immediately the network suspension and will not tie them to any conditions that would jeopardize the kickoff of the new era of telecommunication in the company and the country.

“Noting that the new move of Comium will not only improve the economic situation in Gambia with the new investment but will also create additional job openings increasing the existing Comium workforce by at least 30%, while safeguarding the main source of living of the current 125 employed families in the company.”

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Mr. Sainey M.K. Marenah is a Prominent Gambian journalist, founding editor The Alkamba Times and formerly head of communications at the Constitutional Review Commission (CRC) and Communications and PR Consultant for The Gambia Pilot Program, under Gamworks. Mr. Marenah served as the Social media Strategist and Editor at Gambia Radio and Television Services. He is also the Banjul Correspondent for Voice of America Radio. Sainey is a human rights and developmental journalist who has carved a strong niche particularly in new media environments in the Gambian media industry. Mr. Marenah began his career as a junior reporter with the Point Newspaper in the Gambia in 2008 and rose through the ranks to become Chief correspondent before moving to The Standard Newspaper also in Banjul as Editorial Assistant and head of News. He is a household name in the Gambia’s media industry having covered some of the most important stories in the former and current government. These include the high profile treason cases including the Trial of Former military chiefs in Banjul in 2009 to 2012. Following his arrest and imprisonment by the former regime of President, Yahya Jammeh in 2014, Marenah moved to Dakar Senegal where he continues to practice Journalism freelancing for various local and international Media organization’s including the BBC, Al-Jazeera, VOA, and ZDF TV in Germany among others. He is the co-Founder of the Banjul Based Media Center for Research and Development; an institution specialized in research and development undertakings. As a journalist and Communication Expert, focused on supporting the Gambia's transitional process, Mr Marenah continues to play a pivotal role in shaping a viable media and communications platform that engages necessary tools and action to increase civic participation and awareness of the needs of transitional governance to strengthen the current move towards democratization. Mr. Marenah has traveled extensively as a professional journalist in both Europe, Africa and United States and attended several local and international media trainings.

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