EYEAFRICA TV: Banjul, THE GAMBIA:- The Public Utilities and Regulatory Authority has on Thursday officially opened the 4th edition of the ‘Bantaba’ style forum set to be held in major villages in the rural areas.
This method of discussion is adopted in ensuring equitable distribution of services to all consumers across The Gambia.
PURA came up with the ‘Bantaba’ style forum that enables consumers to be informed of their rights in respect to the services they consume on a daily basis.
Yusupha M. Jobe, director general of PURA, said this mode of operation has yielded positive results since inception.
“As you may be aware, the authority has recognised in the conceptualizing phase of the consumer parliament that the methods employed in the urban areas will not necessarily be appropriate for the rural areas,” he recognized, adding that “it was imperative that a different but equally effective method was designed to meet the needs of consumers of these regulated services in the rural settings.”
The 10-day outreach program will avail at least 23 villages the opportunity to directly converge with officials from different service providers.
As the greater Banjul areas takes the format of the consumer parliament which housed both consumers and stakeholders in a national assembly setting, rural areas will be conducted in social networking format known as ‘the bantaba’.
This, according to Alieu Momodou Ngum, the chairman of PURA board of directors, is supported by the PURA act.
“The PURA act requires the authority to ensure that services are provided throughout the country irrespective of geographic location and that the interest of all users of the regulated services are protected with respect to price, quality, and variety of services amongst other consideration,” he said.
PURA since inception has been manning the position to regulate the sector of telecom, the internet, water, electricity and of recent petroleum.
This rare occasion is expected to enable consumers to get face-to-face with their service providers in resolving their ongoing problems.