A retreat is a powerful inter-dynamic process to energize Board and Management Staff to work as a team. Between 7th and 9th November, 2019, the National Telecommunications Commission (NATCOM) Board and Management were in Kenema for a retreat geared towards discussing successes, challenges in service delivery across the sector and plan of activities for Year 2020. It was indeed a knowledge-sharing event.

The Chairman and Commissioner, Alhaji Mohamed Fouad Sheriff encouraged the Senior Management and Staff of NATCOM to continue to work together as a team in order to realize the establishment’s objectives. He spoke on time maximization for accessing licenses and other services from the Commission and appealed to management to cut down on the time for processing license and other documentations for the sector players.

The Director General, Maxwell Massaquoi stated that within the period under review, there has been several upward drives in work related activities at the Commission, relating to good office ambience, staff morale and motivation, work tools and respect and respectability from sector players. He continued to mention that the Commission has re-energized its commitment to her international partners in the mold of ITU, CTO, ATU, and WATRA Etc.

Because of the evidenced based regulations, which have been put in place by the New NATCOM, accessibility and affordability of telecoms services have increased nationwide.

Several underserved and unserved communities now enjoy telecoms services hence improving on our rural connectivity. On-net and Off-net tariffs are now harmonized, cost of data bundles have been reduced to the advantage of the consumer.3G and 4G roll-outs have been improved he continued to mention. The number of regional offices have been increased to Eight (8), these are serving communities where they are located very well.

NATCOM, he said has completed the review of the Draft Communications Act and the Cyber Crime and Cyber Security Bill. Five (5) telecommunication regulations have been developed and forwarded to stakeholders for their comments, suggestions and recommendations:

Licensing, Type Approval, Spectrum Management, Subscriber Registration and Quality of Service have all been uploaded on the Commission’s Website.

The Commission successfully played host to the Commonwealth Telecommunications Organization (CTO) ICT Forum in Freetown, all adding credence to the fact that NATCOM standard is on the rise in the international scene which was not like that before now….

In the year 2020, the DG mentioned the Commission would be introducing the Regulatory Information Management System (RIMS).

This RIMS according to the DG will enable the distribution of information across the board and that the Commission will work with schools and universities to improve on internet connectivity for sustainable learning. He furthered that all of the activities would help improve on internet penetration nationwide.

A nationwide regulatory enforcement and compliance check was carried out on the all FM and TV stations countrywide. At the retreat, a platform was given to all Directors of the Commission to make presentations on their activities and plans for the future. At the end of all presentations, comments, suggestions, clarifications, questions and answers climaxed the deliberations.

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