By Tabora Bojang
The Gambia Public Utilities Regulatory Authority successfully completed a ten-day countrywide engagement with the service consumers.
The discussions centered on customers and cyber crime in the digital era to raise awareness on customers’ rights and protection against abuse of all sorts.
The flagship programme called The Bantaba is designed to afford the authority the opportunity to generate complaints and challenges encountered by utilities service consumers with a view to offering lasting solutions.
Speaking at the closing ceremony of the Bantaba in Fass Njaga Choi in the North Bank Region, the director-general of Pura, Mr Yusupha M Jobe said the authority as a regulatory body is always delighted to see service consumers happy and appreciative of the services they consume.
“Our role as regulators and enforcers is anchored on the relevance of seeing public utilities service customers are happy, knowing that these services are very critical for any livelihood,” Jobe remarked.
He further disclosed that “Bantaba is one of the best creations for drawing up a fair balance between rural and urban service consumers in terms of reaching quality and accessibility”.
He added that the feedback received from the tour was important to the authority, as it will help them strategise for improved and quality service delivery to the public.
DG Jobe added: “In future, we endeavour to have other service providers we regulate such as the petroleum sector to participate. This will help to generate as many feedback as possible from the public.”
Mr Solo Sima, director of consumer affairs at the authority stated that the Bantaba flagship programme is the authority’s “highly passionate designated programme rolling out to the public in a bid to make quality services available, accessible and affordable to all irrespective of their locations”.
He also recognised that the Bantaba will help service providers to effectively take feedback directly from the public with the ultimate aim of improving service delivery systems in the country.
The liberalisation drive, Sima argued, has explicitly brought about massive expansion and innovation in the service development offers to the public.
According to the corporate Affairs Manager of Pura, Mr Yaya Baldeh, the nationwide tour has availed service providers the opportunity to interface with service consumers to unravel their challenges and concerns for consideration.
“The tour accorded service providers ample opportunity to hear first-hand the plight of consumers, and it is our hope that the experience will inspire positive thinking for improved service provision,” Baldeh said.
“The fourth edition of the Bantaba Outreach flagship programme rolled out squarely unearthed first-hand the challenges faced by the public from GSM operators and the Nawec. Expectations are that with this interface, utilities service providers will accordingly enhance and improve their services to meet public demands in terms of quality, affordability and accessibility,” Mr Baldeh stated.