‘We Don’t Engage in Politics’ – Orange Liberia Reacts to Interrogation of CEO over Violent Protest

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Orange CEO, Mr. Mamadou Coulibaly, became a person of interest to the National Security Agency (NSA) and was invited for questioning after some members of the Council of Patriots (COP) set tires ablaze at the Tubman Boulevard and Old Road intersection before the Nigerian Embassy in Monrovia

MONROVIA – Amid ongoing investigation of its CEO for his alleged involvement with last Thursday’s street protest in abhorrence to additional surcharge on voice and mobile data, Orange Liberia says it stands by its policy of non-involvement in politics – a major rule of conduct within the Group worldwide.

“Under no circumstances does Orange support politics nor has the company or any of its executives been involved in political actions directly or indirectly. As regards to the issue of the imposition of Surcharges to current tariffs, and as Orange Liberia’s shareholder, Orange Group has analyzed the impact of the Surcharges of the LTA Order 0016- 02-25-19 and concluded that these additional Surcharges imposed to GSM operators are jeopardizing their investments and their business continuity in Liberia,” the GSM Company stated in a press statement.

Orange CEO, Mr. Mamadou Coulibaly, became a person of interest to the National Security Agency (NSA) and was invited for questioning after some members of the Council of Patriots (COP) set tires ablaze at the Tubman Boulevard and Old Road intersection before the Nigerian Embassy in Monrovia.

Orange Liberia has been strongly opposed to the government’s imposition of additional charges and has taken the matter to court.

The company maintained that it has analyzed the impact of the Surcharges of the LTA Order 0016- 02-25-19 and concluded that these additional Surcharges would jeopardize their investment in Liberia.

The GSM Company indicated that Mr. Coulibaly was instructed by the Board of Directors to make a case before the Courts of Liberia.

“Orange, as a law-abiding corporation, believes that the best recourse is always through the use of dialog with the authorities and the rule of law,” the company stated.

The surcharge is a government revenue generator from the telecommunications sector which was recently implemented to replace the 5 percent tax.

“Under no circumstances does Orange support politics nor has the company or any of its executives been involved in political actions directly or indirectly. As regards to the issue of the imposition of Surcharges to current tariffs, and as Orange Liberia’s shareholder, Orange Group has analyzed the impact of the Surcharges of the LTA Order 0016- 02-25-19 and concluded that these additional Surcharges imposed to GSM operators are jeopardizing their investments and their business continuity in Liberia.”

– Orange Liberia

The surcharge represents US$22 million on a turnover of US$93.3 million turnovers, with a big sum of that going to Orange France as management and royalties’ fees to avoid further paying local taxes.

In April 2016, Orange Group announced the completion of its acquisition of the mobile operator Cellcom. The buyout was carried out via Orange Cote d’Ivoire, which agreed to acquire Cellcom Telecommunications’ Liberian subsidiary at the start of 2016, inheriting around 1.4 million subscribers from Cellcom.

Orange Liberia: “Orange Liberia has invested more than USD $100 million in Liberia since 2016 to provide digital and financial inclusion to the Liberian people and is a key partner in progress for the country’s development agenda.”

In 2017 and 2018, the Liberia Revenue Authority awarded Orange Liberia the best tax payer award.

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