By: Kebba Ansu Manneh
Fatou Fatty, Acting General Manager of Gambia Cellular Company, Gamcel, has dismissed reports of the non-payment of staff salaries and declared that the company has never failed to pay salaries, even though payment is delayed sometimes.
She spoke in a telephone interview with TAT in reaction to reports of the delayed payment of salaries owed to staff for months.
“It’s not true that Gamcel is not paying its staff, for we have never defaulted in paying salaries to our hardworking staff.
“I can confirm that to date, all salaries due to our staff have been fully paid. So it’s not true that Gamcel is not paying salaries,” Ms Fatty told TAT.
She added: “Of course, due to the high cost of operations coupled with other commitments of the company, sometimes we have delays in payment of salaries to our staff. However, these delays didn’t mean that Gamcel is not paying salaries or have defaulted in paying salaries.”
Also, in the interview, Ms Fatty disclosed that the company needs about US$30 million to remain viable in the existing competitive cellular business.
Maintaining vibrancy in the competitive cellular business demands a lot of investment, which is currently challenging for the company.
The authorities at Gamcel are not relenting in turning the tide through engagement with its line ministry and the Ministry of Finance to find solutions to the company’s various challenges, she continued.
“I can tell you that it’s costly to remain viable in the current competitive market and, without exception, Gamcel needs adequate investment to stay competitive.
“We need at least US$30 million in investment that we believe can change the tide for the only Gambian-owned cellular company.
“We (Gamcel management) believe that if we remain viable and competitive in the prevailing circumstances, we need serious investment through either government intervention or private sector investment.
“Right now, we are still using 2G and 3 G, while our competitors are using 4G and 5G, and, to catch up with them, Gamcel needs the needed investment to move forward.
She said the Gamcel management and board of directors are doing everything possible to secure funding to implement the company’s strategic plan.
Meanwhile, she hoped to restore Gamcel to the heydays when everyone liked to work for the company.