Engineer Senesie Kallon, SIERRATEL’s Managing Director, reiterated to an attentive gathering during the launching ceremony that the company needs serious capital injection of about forty-four billion Leones (Le 44bn) to project the company to effectively compete with other players in the ICT sector, with a forecast delivery of eighty-nine billion Leones revenue annually.
He stated that much has not been achieved as previous governments failed to provide the needed assistance to the institution; hence its unfortunate record of poor service delivery to the public over the years, when in actual fact, SIERRATEL is the only wholly government owned telecommunications service provider.
Ing. Kallon however used the opportunity to apologize to customers for the hitches on voice data and internet services in recent times. He assured the general public that if the government looks in the direction of SIERRATEL; the general public can be assured that such ugly developments soon be a thing of the past.
“We have embarked on a journey of transformation as we see diversified unparalleled strides of our institution’s expansion countrywide. Much has not been achieved, but with the limited resources, we have witnessed a lot of good things happening now. The vision is that SIERRATEL will be made a one stop shop for the provision of convergence communication services. We have embarked on a mission of building a better life which will be available and affordable in Sierra Leone,” he assured his attentive audience.
He called on all SIERRATEL staff to uphold and maintain the core values of the company which include integrity, transparency, fairness, accountability, innovation, excellence and satisfactory customer care.
He added: “We therefore provide a strategy for this core value mission which is to provide better and cheaper service while increasing revenue generation before cost strategy. Our strategy is to go nationwide, improve on our performance and service delivery.”
The SIERRATEL MD further noted that at the end of 2019, he projects that the institution would have improved its customer base to 8,100, and that they also intend to expand their broadband to homes and offices through the high speed 4GLTE.
On his part, Chairman, National Commission for Privatization (NCP), Umaru Napoleon Koroma, said the country is witnessing signs of development in one of “our fastest growing telecommunication institutions as they have made significant progress to make it a highly innovative mobile telecommunication company.”
He went on to say that the company has established landline services to some parts of Freetown, including Leicester, Aberdeen, Wellington and Brookfields. He added that SIERRATEL in recent times embarked on cost-saving measures and carried out comprehensive reviews of the company’s processes, procedures and methods.
“We have witnessed a bold testament of the current management’s strides to do bigger and better things at SIERRATEL. It is therefore incumbent on all of us, the management, the regulators, policy makers and the general public to make this happen as we awake this sleeping giant,” he urged.
Chairman of the Parliamentary Oversight Committee on Information and Communication, Hon. Mathew Nyuma, said they believe in development drives to help SIERRATEL compete with the other telecommunication companies in the country in a bigger, better and healthier way.
In his keynote address, Minister of Information and Communication, Mohamed Rado Swarray, noted that the SLPP government is very much aware that SIERRATEL is a critical player in mapping out the way forward in accessing communication services across the country.
He went on to say that development of the company would be certified by the desire of the government – be it corporate entities, small and medium enterprises, NGOs and private individuals-to conduct their business in a way that internet service will increase and expand in the country.
He went on to disclose that his ministry is revisiting the telecommunication laws for cyber security, computer literacy misuse and personal protection.
The Minister further disclosed that through the Ministry of Information and Communication, the government will introduce the much-needed E-government programs that would enable government activities to be conducted online and transmitted or communicated for public consumption in real time. He called on the current SIERRATEL management headed by Ing. Senesie Kallon to always look up to the government, while doing what they can to improve on their ICT service delivery.
Speaking to AYV after the ceremony, a number of government officials and ordinary citizens said it is incumbent on the government to boost SIERRATEL financially so that the company can be in a position to compete healthily in order for it to regain its rightful place as Sierra Leone’s only fully government owned telecommunication giant.