DA Jawo, Information minister

(JollofNews) The Government of the Gambia has vowed to come down heavily against any attacks on its national communication system.

The warning follows threats by private telecommunication carrier, MGI, to disrupt the billing platform of the country’s national GSM company, GAMCEL.

MGI has had its contract for the exclusive management of the Gambia’s International Gateway terminated in July by the government.

Unhappy with the decision, the company which was established in 2002 and prides itself with providing high quality connectivity anywhere in the world has allegedly threatened to disrupt the billing platform of GAMCEL unless the government makes a U-turn.

But the government said it has no plans to hand back the exclusive management of the country’ International Gateway to MGI and warned that any deliberate attempt to sabotage the national communication system of the country would be seen as a clear threat to national security.

“We will not be cowed by this cowardice action and will not subdue to any such threats and/or blackmail. We will stand firm with the decision to terminate the MGI contract and we are more resolved today than before,” said Demba Ali Jawo, minister of Information and Communication Infrastructure.

He added: “It is worthy to apprise the public that the billing system was acquired on behalf of GAMCEL and it is the most expensive ever for the company if not around the world. The billing platform cost millions of US dollars yet the company does not have total ownership and control over the system. This is a betrayal of trust through a scheme designed to control, blackmail and direct our decisions as a nation, while perpetuating MGI to continue the management of the International Gateway.

Unfortunately, the agreement that should have been in the name of GAMCEL was between MGI and REDKNEE on a build, operate, transfer (BOT) basis. Also, MGI signed another separate contract on the billing system with GAMCEL for the support services. The BOT agreement of the billing platform is yet to be provided by MGI after numerous follow-ups and could not be traced from either GAMCEL or GAMTEL.”