- It has been confirmed that 50% of both the Gambia Telecommunication Company Ltd (GAMTEL) and Gambia Cellular Telephone Company (GAMCEL) have been sold out to a Lebanese-owned company, Spectrum Investment Group Ltd.
Despite frantic efforts, officials of Spectrum Investment Group Ltd and the government would neither confirm, nor deny the story.
Ironically, there has not been any tender to that effect - which contradicts regulations governing the sale of public institutions or corporation in the country.
The deal was said to have been shrouded in mystery, as directors of both GAMTEL and GAMCEL had no prior knowledge of what the deal was all about until they were informed by the Minister of Information and Communication, Nenneh Macduall-Gaye last week. Besides, the Director of GAMTEL, Katim Touray, was on a visit to South Africa when the news of the sales broke out.
“The minister broke the news to us at a meeting of directors in her office. We were shocked to the bone because this means that our telecommunication sector will totally fall under the hands of Lebanese,“ said a GAMTEL official, who begs for cover, told 'afrol News'.
Lebanese also own huge shares of both AFRICELL and COMMIUM - The Gambia’s private mobile telephone service providers.
The sale was effected since August 1 this year and a German company, Detecon, has been assigned by Spectrum to oversee its 50% shares.
The board of directors of GAMTEL and GAMCEL have been dissolved. The companies are said to be discussion joint management strategies with their new partner.
Since its establishment in 1984, GAMTEL was ranked among the best telecommunication companies in Africa in terms of quality and profitability. But in recent years the company’s progress has been hampered by persistent political interference and corruption scandals.
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