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The National Telecommunications Commission (NATCOM), on March 12, received a four-man team from the Public Utilities Regulatory Authority (PURA) of the Gambia.
The objective of their week-long study tour is to explore possible areas to establish closer working relationship between the two regulatory bodies that would enhance the standardization of regulatory processes across the sub-region within the spirit of the ECOWAS Supplemental Acts.
The areas of interaction and knowledge sharing include licensing, interconnection, quality of service, monitoring, dispute resolution, consumer protection, tariffs and advertisement codes.
“We hold the view that standardizing our processes, our regulatory and enforcement functions will allow smoother regulations, especially across West Africa”, PURA’s Director of Consumer Affairs, Mr. Solo Sima stated.
The five-day interface between the two regulatory bodies is characterized by PowerPoint presentations by NATCOM Directors of Licensing and Legal Affairs; Engineering and Technical Affairs; Consumer, Industry and Public Affairs and Deputy Director General, followed by question-and-answer sessions on the various aspects of the study mission in addition to the peer-to-peer engagements, which entails close door discussions of similar departments.
The team also paid a courtesy call on the Minister of Information and Communication, Alhaji Ibrahim Ben Kargbo and later visited different sites including the fiber optic landing station at Lumley; Sierratel earth station; Leicester Peak and Fourah Bay College.
Receiving the guests earlier at NATCOM headquarters, the Chairman and Commissioner, Siray Alpha Timbo, extended warm compliments on behalf of the Commission and expressed optimism that the visit would be fruitful to achieve its set objectives stressing “I foresee a mutually beneficial future between our two entities.”
He made reference to the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) signed between the two bodies in 2009, when NATCOM first visited PURA and noted that the visit is reciprocal.
NATCOM’s Director General, Mohamed Bangura, described the encounter as recognition of NATCOM’s good works beyond the borders of Sierra Leone.
Other members of the study team include the Deputy Director of Legal, Licensing and Enforcement, Ida Mboob; Deputy Director of Telecommunications, Nicholas Jatta and Senior Economist, Burama Jammeh.
By A. R. Bedor
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