The group, Liberia Information Technology Student Union has commended President George Manneh Weah for his splendid presentation at the Tokyo International Conference on African Development by saying “Technological Innovation, coupled with its proper application, is essential not only to solve socioeconomic problem but also to mitigate political challenges confronting Liberia” which is very fantastic in this information age. Verily, No country can get transform without Technology and Liberia is no exception.
According to the president of (LITSU) Foldesstine Paye, the Liberian Leader was very clear by saying “Liberia is behind in terms of the application of Technology to impact its national development Goals” which is a reality and a tragedy in Liberia, indicating by saying “Mr. President you spoke well” he noted.
The student based group having lauded Dr. Weah for his bold and meaningful speech in Tokyo Japan hopes that said presentation will not be only talk but implementation.
LITSU boss wants such implementation to begin with the adoption of the National ICT Policy of 2019-2024 which he added is on the desk at the relevant official of government at the Ministry of State and Portfolio.
The Policy among other things serves as the vision for Liberia to get transform through technology and it is critical to the sustainable development of Liberia’s ICT sector which aims to address development, and support the socio-economic development of the Pro-Poor Agenda for Prosperity and Development (PAPD). Foldesstine uttered.
As a result of the ongoing economic hardship facing the nation and its people, LITSU through its boss announced a major campaign scheduled for September 18, 2019 Wednesday for the government to hold on their unaware 5% TAX price floor for the Telecom companies to restore in his words our data bundles and three days Unlimited Cheap calls because according to him the economic hardship and the hampering of internet access and affordability which unduly restrict citizen’s rights to free speech, privacy and access to information, undermined efforts to bridge the digital divide in Liberia.
He said, during the time of the three days promotion, Liberia, according to UK Ranked 136th out of 230 countries for its High Mobile Data Price, Liberia was ranked 83 place with 0.60 for 1GB but unfortunately, because of the recent tariff on data, Liberia had taken the place of 126 according to international report, he told reporters.
He pointed out that to regulate is very good for the development of any economy but it is not the proper time for this regulation when credit card is 230.00LD which the youth, student, and children can’t afford to communicate and access information online under this economic hardship.
According to him Policy should be created for the people not against the people because the people are the greatest asset of any nation and Liberia is no exception.
LITSU believe that airtime and data should be affordable to all not few. Young people are the majority in Liberia and have the highest rate of unemployment.
He said Access to data is essential to their education and employment, as well as their right to become an Informed Citizen, The LITSU boss added.
Mr. Paye observed that youth, students, and children are deprived of their right to receive and impart information because of the recent rip-off air time and data cost in this country.
It is human to communicate, and to be deprived of the means of doing so, to be excluded from the digital economy and online world, is an affront to one’s dignity, Paye told the media in a disappointing tune.
LTA said the reason the Price Floor was created is because they want to prevent monopoly, with one provider controlling the market, a condition that will robbed the people but forgetting to know that the Telecom companies will loss thousands of customers who are unable to afford credit card which will cause Telecom company to leave and monopoly will still take place with one provider taking the market and the condition of the people will still be robbed.
LTA also said the reason the Price Floor was created is because they want to improve quality of services, expand networks coverage, infrastructure and restore sector viability but LTA forgetting to know that the regulatory fees they are taking from radio stations in Liberia and the 1million dollar universal access fund given by world bank can be used to connect the unconnected, built community computer centers, and Towers for the people in the rural areas to stop climbing in tress and on top hill just to get network to make call and to access the internet in Liberia.
He claimed that the ruthless profiteering of LTA, has helped entrench inequality and has gone against the vision of the international Telecommunication Union(ITU) which our country is a member that seek to connect the unconnected, it has left us with a gaping and deepening digital divide, where only wealthy Liberians likewise LTA commissioners, Ministers, Senators and representatives enjoying high-speed fiber connections and attractive post-paid mobile package, while the poor and marginalized are forced to cut back on the basic necessities for a few minutes or megabytes to communicate.
LITSU said they are resolved and are will use Liberation Technology on September 18th 2019 without any fear or favor telling the government to hold on to their flabbergasted 5% TAX price floor for the restoration of our data bundles under a theme “RESTORE OUR DATA BUNDLES”.
The campaign the student group clarified is not about opposition, ruling position or non-position rather it is in the general and supreme interest of the masses.