By Muhammad Bah
The Public Utilities and Regulatory Authority (PURA) told the Public Accounts and Public Enterprises Committee (PAC/PEC) of the National Assembly, which is mandated to scrutinize both the financial and administrative performances of all public institutions, that National Water and Electricity Company (NAWEC) tops the list of the statistics on received complaints from consumers on service providers.
In presenting the Authority’s report before the PAC/PEC Committee yesterday, 18th May 2015, Mr. Ansumana Sanneh, the current Director General of PURA, revealed that the ‘Complaints received statistics’ by consumers against public utility companies in the country has NAWEC on top followed by AFRICELL, GAMCEL, COMIUM, QCELL and GAMTEL.
He said PURA has received over 268 complaints in 2013 which showed an increasing trend of approximately 7.2% when compared to 2012.
On the complaints received, Mr. Sanneh revealed that NAWEC accounts for 49%, AFRICELL 18%, GAMCEL 12%, COMIUM 10%, QCELL 9% and GAMTEL 2%.
On NAWEC, he said 44% of complaints concern water with burst pipes and high billing which accounted for 18%, whilst new service connections is 12%. “The least came from faulty water meters which account for 10% paid arrears reflecting on bill, highly billing water shortage accounting for 4%, 3% and 1% respectively” said the PURA DG.
He said the second complaint on NAWEC is on the electricity sector of which 29% complained against blackout, 25% on faulty cash power meters and 2% on others.
On COMIUM, the PURA DG said the majority of the complaints against their service is on free ‘bonanza’ which accounts for 41% and on network coverage which accounts for 11%.He said line replacement, network coverage, bonus messages and credit deducted while on call diverting account for 7%, 7%, 4% and 4%, respectively.
The complaints on QCELL received from their subscribers, according to the PURA DG, are on the referrals made and which accounting for 24%, then followed by the Nopal agents deductions. He said the internet slow speed on mobile phone accounts for 23%, network coverage 18%, while line replacement and bonus calls account for 6% each.
On Gamcel, Mr. Sanneh said 25% of the complaints against the service provider is on blocked SIM cards, while network coverage and the referrals accounts for 18% each and line replacement accounted for 14%. He said the least complaints relates to calls being disconnected, invalid SIM cards and unable to load credit accounting for 11%, 7% and 4% respectively.
As for Africell, DG Sanneh said the majority of the complaints came from fun ringing deactivation service which accounts for 22%. He said this was followed by failure of internet connectivity on cell phone and referrals made which both account for 11% each, whilst unable to load credit accounts for 9%. The least complaints received from Africell, he added, are from TOK deactivation being unable to send SMS, credit deducted, NOPAL agents sending credit wrongly and blocked SIM, all which account for 5% each.
Mr. Lamin Camara, speaking on behalf of the Gambia Public Procurement Authority (GPPA), ranks PURA as 96% compliant, and which, he added, denotes full compliance under the GPPA Act.