By Bampia James Bundu:
Strategic Communications Unit,
Ministry of Information and Communications
The National Telecommunications Commission (NATCOM) has presented its 2019 Annual Report to the Deputy Minister of Information and Communications, Madam Mamadi Gobeh Kamara.
The presentation was done at the conference room of the Ministry of Information and Communications, 8th Floor, Youyi Building, Freetown, on Monday 11th January, 2021.
Presenting the report, the Chairman of NATCOM, Ambassador Joe C. Blell, said that their major responsibility is to regulate the telecommunications sector and provide license for telecommunications operators and service providers, protect consumer interest and ensure fair competition among service providers.
He added that what they were doing was in line with the Commission’s mandate which clearly states in section 9 (1) of the Telecommunications Act 2006 (as amended), that the Commission shall present an Annual Report to the Minister of Information and Communications for onward submission to Parliament.
Amb. Blell noted that the 2019 Annual Report highlights key corporate activities of the Commission, particularly the telecommunications ecosystem and the public sector in an accountable and transparent manner.
He commended the Minister and his Deputy for their support over the years and assured them of continued partnership going forward.
The Director General of the National Telecommunications Commission, Daniel Kaitibi, revealed that the last time NATCOM presented an annual report to the Ministry was in 2012 which is about 7 or more years ago.
He reiterated that what they were doing was in conformity with the Telecommunications Act of 2006 (as amended) and that they will continue to do so to the letter.
“This is a new NATCOM with renewed zeal and determination to work for the people of Sierra Leone and to ensure that MNOs (Mobile Network Operators) work within the ambit of the law and are properly regulated,” the DG said, adding that he appreciated the support from the Minister of Information and his Deputy and assured them of their continued collaboration.
Receiving the report, the Deputy Minister of Information and Communications, Madam Mamadi Gobeh Kamara, commended the leadership of NATCOM for their relentless efforts in putting such a document together.
She disclosed that the last time the Ministry received an Annual Report from NATCOM was in 2012 and described the move as the right direction under the New Direction leadership of President Julius Maada Bio.
“I know a lot has happened in the telecommunications sector geared towards changing the narrative; I urge you to continue in that direction and assure you of the ministry’s continued support at all times,” she said.
Madam Gobeh Kamara assured the leadership of NATCOM that the Ministry will ensure that the NATCOM 2019 Annual Report is presented to Parliament as provided for in the Telecommunications Act of 2006 (as amended).