By Fatou Dahaba
Public Utilities Regulation Authority (PURA) has announced the commencement of its public outreach sensitization campaign, discussing with the public the impact of scamming on the population.
The biennial initiative of public outreach sensitization, which is now in its tenth year, has become a cornerstone of the regulation authority’s commitment to fostering development, understanding, and challenges communities face regarding their regulated utility services.
This year, the public outreach is under the Theme “Scams and its Effects on Consumers.”
Speaking to the press about the campaign, Alieu Ngum, Chairman of the Board of Directors PURA, said in the ever-evolving landscape of deceptive acts courtesy of advancement in technology, where unscrupulous individuals exploit the vulnerable through telephone calls and other uncalled-for solicitation activities leading to the act of scamming.
“it is imperative that we, as a stakeholder, remain cautiously proactive and vigilant in discharging our collective responsibilities.”
He stressed that these malicious social menaces jeopardize community trust and pose a significant threat to the essence of progress they aim to achieve as a regulatory institution.
He thanked the team set to travel on their commitment to raising awareness and empowering people.
“Your efforts will not only touch many lives but also have sown the seeds of resilience against the deceit that threatens the well-being of those we serve. Our past Bantaba engagements with the public and the feedback from our Consumer Affairs Directorate have been encouraging positive.”
Solo Sima, Deputy Director General of PURA, said the PURA act requires the authority to ensure that public utilities are provided and available throughout the country and that the interests and rights of all users of these regulated services are protected concerning price, quality, and variety services, amongst other responsibilities.
He added that Bantaba outreach serves as a platform that enables consumers to be better informed, educated, and aware of their rights and responsibilities regarding the services they consume.
“Over the years, this transparent and open interaction has allowed the authority to address concerns swiftly and effectively and anticipate future problem areas.”
According to him, this places PURA as a bastion of solid regulation, deeply committed to upholding equity and social inclusion values.
“The Bantaba outreach mirrors this commitment by facilitating irrespective of geographical location, ethnicity, language or background.”
Deputy DG said, “The objective of the Bantaba is to create awareness on the rights of the consumers and the obligation of the service providers in the resolution of complaints and concerns, hence improving harmony and unity of purpose, as it relates to all stakeholders.”
He reiterates that they have witnessed significant social improvements in numerous communities that they have visited.
Communities to be visited by the public outreach sensitization team include Bullock in the West Coast Region; Jali, Kwinelleh, Sankuwia, and Karantaba in the Lower River Region; Bati Njoll, Njobeh, Galleh Manda, Jarumeh Koto and Bati Ndarr in the Central River Region; Dampha Kunda and Dingiri in the Upper River Region; Sara Kunda, Dippa Kunda, Suwareh Kunda, Njaba Kunda, Chilla, Sitanunku, Bakindiki and Mbollet- Ba in the North Bank Region.
This expansion of places to visit underscores their unwavering dedication to reaching every corner of the nation, leaving no community untouched.