#Article (Archive)

Consumers to Voice Complaints Face to Face

Jan 15, 2009, 5:13 AM | Article By: Bakary Samateh

The managing director of The Public Utilities Regulatory Authority, Mr. Alagie Gaye, has said that the consumer parliament is an innovative public awareness and interaction programme where consumers of communications services, telephone (fixed and wireless), internet services, electricity, water & sewerage services can meet face-to-face with the service providers. They can also meet the regulator and are given the opportunity to express their views and complaints to them.

The PURA Boss was speaking at the launch of the PURA consumer parliament resolution mechanism put in place for consumers to address the issues affecting them face to face with the service providers and regulator.

He said it is also important to note that for PURA to equitably fulfil its mandate of consumer protection, consumers also have to fulfil their responsibilities and obligations. These obligations include the prompt payment of bills, ensuring that their use of the service is not in a manner hazardous to the environment, maintaining properly any equipment leased or provided and not being abusive towards a service provider.

"We hope that through the consumer parliament, awareness about the interdependent roles of various stakeholders - relevant departments of state, the regulator, service providers and consumers will increase to ensure equity in development," he said.

Mr. Gaye pointed out that the PURA act 2001 established PURA to regulate the telecommunications, electricity water & sewerage, broadcasting and transport sectors. It was decided from inception, through the regulatory framework study for The Gambia, that PURA could practically regulate these sectors with the exception of transportation and broadcasting. "This was to allow the authority to gradually develop its regulatory capacity around a manageable number of sectors and eventually graduate into the transportation and broadcasting sectors.