LoneStarCell/MTN Apologizes for Misleading Liberian Legislature


Monrovia – Communications giant, LoneStarCell/MTN has written a communication to members of the House of Representatives, expressing its apology following arguments and counter arguments over its recent decision to cancel the three days free call promotion.

Report by Henry Karmo – [email protected]

“LoneStarCell/MTN extends its regrets and sincere apology for the misunderstanding, the harm and the statement applied against you and the Honorable Distinguished Members of the House, by the actions of the Deputy Chief Executive Officer of Lone Star Cell MTN,” a letter signed by the company’s CEO stated.

The communication, signed by CEO Babatunde Osho continued: “Mr. Speaker and honorable Distinguished Members, it must be  noted that not capping or limiting the number of minutes in the promotional offer of the $1.00 for three days would expose our business to incalculable tax burden and that would have been a disastrous business proposition.”

The letter assured the Speaker and members of the House that the company is desirous to providing the best in telecommunications and prays the indulgence of the body as they find an “amicable solutions to the unfolding circumstances.”

Almost a month ago, members of the House of Representatives instructed its chief clerk to seek the advice of the Ministry of Justice and the Liberia Telecommunication Authority (LTA) on appropriate actions to be taken against LoneStarCell/MTN for allegedly lying under oath at the Legislature.

The GSM Company was also mandated by the House’s plenary to restore its three-day ‘free’ call promotion.

LoneStarCell MTN during the 2016/2017 budget hearing informed lawmakers that the imposition of additional US$0.01 tariff on all voice calls will have no effect or extra cost on subscribers three days promotional calls.

Lawmakers, specifically members of the House of Representatives, have argued that the decision to pass a law imposing taxes on voice call was done based on advice from the GSM Company, a move that has created public discontent against the representatives ahead of the pending October elections.

Lewis Roberts, deputy CEO of the Company, appearing before plenary two weeks ago  admitted that the company promised that the US$0.01tax burden would have not impacted the subscribers and maintained that the company will not take away the three days call as was being reported.

“Truth be told, we attended two hearings in some committee room; at the two hearings the discussion on adding one cent on local calls were held. What we told the committee is that Lonestar cell will not pass on the burden of the one cent to the tax payer and that we have not changed.

“Today we are still selling our scratch card for US$1.00 and there is still an opportunity for three days on a dollar to call. What we have not done and do easily is that we will not give unlimited minutes use on a dollar for three days.”

As the saga intensified evolving into a legal argument, the Supreme Court of Liberia placed a stay order on House of Representative’s order after the company petitioned the High Court to issue a Writ of Prohibition.