𝐁𝐲 𝐒𝐲𝐥𝐯𝐞𝐬𝐭𝐞𝐫 𝐒𝐚𝐦𝐛𝐚
The management of the Universal Access Development Fund (UADF) has assured Mobile Network Operators (MNOs) and Internet Service Providers (ISPs) that the 0.75% of their profit paid to the Fund would be used for its intended purpose.
For far too long now, the Mobile Network Operators and Internet Service Providers have been sitting in their offices expressing dissatisfaction and frustration over the manner in which monies deposited to the Fund are being utilized, especially under the former APC government.
According to sources, the former APC government only built one Mobile Tower throughout their tenure in governance under UADF. It was commissioned on Monday, 1st May, 2017 at Tambakha Chiefdom in Bombali district.
In demonstrating this assurance, recently, the UADF Management under the dynamic leadership of Madam Marie Momoh as Chief Executive Officer (CEO) launched and handed over the sites for the construction of three giant Mobile Network Towers, one each in three districts; Bonthe, Kailahun and Kono respectively.
Since it is just a pilot phase, the unserved and underserved deprived communities that were identified, will soon have access to mobile communications and internet services; Benducha in Bonthe district, Manosewalu in Kailahun district and Foemandugu in Kono district. The sites were handed over to the contracting companies; MANN Sierra Leone and K-NET in the presence of the people in their respective communities on Thursday, 9th -11th June, 2022.
These communities are extremely difficult and hard to reach areas particularly with vehicles. Due to this, and because they are also under populated, the Mobile Network Operators show very little or no interest in taking communications to these areas by building mobile towers in these areas as they have been referred to as non- profits making communities.
As prescribed by law, monies paid to the Universal Access Development Fund are meant to be used by the Government of Sierra Leone to take communications to deprived communities across the country.
According to the SLPP government, they want to see that before President Julius Maada Bio leaves office as President in 2028, 90% of the country would have access to communication services. With this, the management of the Universal Access Development Fund has assured that once the monies are in their possession, they would fulfill the President
s aspiration in taking communication services to deprived communities across the country. During the launch and the handing over of the sites for the construction of three giant Mobile Network Towers, Paramount Chiefs, Town Chiefs, elderly men and women of the beneficiary communities heartily thanked the government of President Bio for starting the process to take communication services to their respective communities. They assured all that they would give their support to the contractors in making sure that the three giant Mobile network towers are speedily built and security provided to safeguard the facilities. Madam Marie Momoh, the Chief Executive Officer of the Universal Access Development Fund said once her institution is given the full support by providing the needed fund, 90% of Sierra Leonean communities would definitely have access to communication services. "This is a legacy we want to make sure that the President achieves before leaving the Presidency in 2028...We also want to show value for peoples money particularly monies deposited in the Fund by Mobile Network Operators and the Internet Service Providers in the country,” Madam Momoh noted.
the country,” Madam Momoh noted.