Comium defaults on loan payments; High Court closes office

25 Nov 2013

The High Court of Sierra Leone has sealed off one of the offices of Comium Sierra Leone, the country’s second largest mobile operator, for reportedly defaulting on its loan payments, local media agency Awoko reports. According to the article, Comium Sierra Leone has accumulated numerous loans from service providers and different commercial banks, including EcoBank Sierra Leone, and logistics company Security Support Group International (SSGI), the owners of the generators which run Comium’s sites. On 8 October 2013 the high court ruled that Comium was liable for payment of SLL5.5 billion (USD1.257 million), while the country’s watchdog National Telecommunication Commission (NATCOM) has revealed to the media that they have intervened on several occasions to try and resolve the issue amicably, but that Comium’s management ‘has not been living up to the expectations of the agreement for the recovery of the loan’. Further, the struggling company reportedly suffered another setback when rivals Africell and Airtel started blocking calls originating on its network.

According to TeleGeography’s GlobalComms Database, in September 2013 local media reports alleged that the company was facing financial difficulties, as government officials in possession of a court injunction stormed the company’s headquarters with the intent to shut down the business on the allegation that it has failed to meet its debt obligations to several banks.

Sierra Leone, Comium Sierra Leone