Hon. Abba Sanyang, National Assembly Member for Foni Kansala constituency, spoke strongly against what he called the poor performance at the Gambia Public Utilities Regulatory Authority (PURA) with regard to representation and organisation, calling on its management to be vigilant and critical in the way they view the management set-up.
Hon. Sanyang was speaking to this reporter in an exclusive interview shortly after returning from a five-day West African Telecommunications Regulatory Authority executive development programme held in Ghana. The programme aims at creating a networking for capacity building and knowledge exchange in information and communication technology policies regulation and applications.
“At the seminar, we discovered that The Gambia is unique in terms of its representation and organisation of its regulatory authority. Its impact on the socio-economic development of the country is what is more salient here because if you look at other countries, they [regulatory authorities] have made great impact in their countries but here in The Gambia we have realised that PURA is crawling and there are various factors responsible in the sense that they have the responsibility to regulate telecommunications in The Gambia,” he asserted.
The impact of this in the socio-economic development of the country, Hon. Sanyang added, is vast because the main focus of regulatory agencies is the consumer, the organisation and government at large.
According to the Foni Kansala parliamentarian, the problem in The Gambia is that PURA is experiencing so many constraints as there is a vast difference between the way the agencies in other countries operate and the way that of The Gambia operates. “One of their constraints is data in the sense that PURA will not have connections to know how many subscribers are there for Gamcel, Africell and Comium. PURA should see to it that the liberalisation of the gateway will enhance their capacity and make an impact on the lives of the Gambian people,” he added.
In the way forward for PURA, Hon. Sanyang implored the management to be more proactive through vigilance and structuring of management, noting that there are various components that have to be looked at critically in terms of failures and successes. “What they need to do is to look at their management, look at their own system of operations and be more vigilant and strict on their regulatory acts and if they fail do so, they should close down because they will have no impact on the Gambian people,” Hon Sanyang concluded.