Saudi telecoms company Mobily has been suspended from offering certain services after the company “failed to meet its regulatory obligations” for Saudisation, the official Saudi Press Agency (SPA) reported.
The kingdom’s Communications and Information Technology Commission (CITC) said the company had not hired the required number of Saudi nationals in senior executive roles.
Hence it has been suspended from selling mobile telecommunications services to new customers for prepaid and postpaid packages in the kingdom.
The move does not affect existing customers, the report added.
CITC governor Abdulaziz bin Salem Al Ruwais said that Mobily did not “fulfill the licensing obligations issued to the company”.
At the end of 2017, the CITC had issued a plan to address the company’s failure to fulfill its obligations on the Saudisation rate for the executive management. Al Ruwais said the plan had also been coordinated with Mobily’s board of directors.
However, the company failed to act on it despite repeated follow-ups with its board of directors, the report stated.
In a brief bourse statement, Mobily confirmed the decision.
“The impact of this decision cannot be determined at this stage. Mobily would like to assure all its current customers that its services are ongoing and that it is cooperating with CITC. Mobily shall keep its investors and customers aware of new developments,” it said.
Currently, Mobily’s senior management team as listed on the company’s website includes 12 people, with expatriate nationals appearing to hold five positions, including that of the CEO.
The CITC said it is currently working to follow up with all licensed companies to ensure that they are meeting their obligations towards employing Saudi nationals in leadership positions.
Saudi Arabia is aggressively pursuing its Saudisation strategy and has already nationalised several roles.
Under new rules, which came into effect in September, automobile and motorbike showrooms and shops selling items including ready-made clothing for men and children, home and office furniture, household goods and utensils must ensure 70 per cent of their sales staff are Saudi.
The new regulation, which will eventually apply to 12 retail roles, was first announced in January. It is intended to provide more job opportunities for Saudi nationals in the private sector.