Vivacell president visits Juba after shutdown

Telecom firm Vivacell’s president Pierre Fattouch has held talks with South Sudan officials in Juba in a bid to unlock the dispute that occasioned the closure of its operations.

Mr Fattouch arrived in Juba on Wednesday, hoping to unlock the licence and over $60 million taxes impasse.

He was accompanied by the General Manager, Mr Hussein Rifai.

South Sudan’s largest mobile operator was last week ordered to cease operations for its failure to conform to the government rules and regulations.

The National Communications Authority (NCA) said the Lebanese firm had failed to pay over $60 million taxes since it inception, hence the drastic action.

NCA Director-General Lado Kenyi said they made some progress in the talks, without divulging details.

Dr Kenyi said the government wanted to believe that Vivacell would comply with the laws of the land.

He said the telco must obtain a licence and offset the over $60 million tax arrears.

Vivacell has been operating under exemption since its inception, according to NCA.

It’s last weeks shutdown followed the expiry of a seven-day ultimatum by NCA.

The firm, however, issued a notice assuring the public that it would come back on air soon.

It’s entry into the young nation was mainly facilitated by former SPLM secretary-general Pagan Amum.

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