Making a statement to formally declare the parliamentary session open, Hon. Mohamed Bangura asserted that the Government of Sierra Leone under the leadership of President Dr. Ernest Bai Koroma, has provided the required infrastructural capacity to boost telecommunications by landing the submarine fibre optic from overseas.
He said the infrastructure has been put in place by government, calling on the private sector to complement this effort by providing quality, affordable and reliable service to the people.
Hon. Mohamed Bangura encouraged mobile and internet service providers to do more in providing their services to every corner of the country without discrimination.
He thanked NATCOM for the event, urging his audience to respect state institutions.
Minister Bangura suggested for mobile and internet service providers to collaborate in order for them to address their respective challenges.
Delivering his keynote address, Chairman and Commissioner of NATCOM outlined gains they have made over the years as a result of the Consumer Parliament.
Momoh Kemoh Konte revealed that NATCOM has libralised the gateway, an idea born out of a resolution of previous Consumer Parliament session in other part of the country.
This Development, he added, has increased cumulatively 10% of incoming calls and also cumulative increase of 5% of outgoing calls.
Mr. Konte also stated that the development has cut down from 37 cents to 24 cents equated to 30% from burden on government.
He also revealed that the development has cut down cost calls to abroad from 24 cents to 15 cents.
Commissioner Konte revealed that NATCOM has collaborated with other institutions abroad for the cost of calls to be the same in the sub region.
The country, he also noted, will soon get an emergency platform nationwide for any health emergency.
For this effort to come to fruition, 30 E-health mobile phones have been provided by International Telecommunication Union, that will serve as an emergency tool to respond to any emergency, added Mr. Konte.
NATCOM, Mr. Konte also said has held talks with internet and Telecommunications giants in the world like google, facebook. These talks, he assured, will soon be transformed to practical with support from World Bank, Dfid and other donor agencies.
Momoh Konte commented on challenges of NATCOM, pointing at perpetrators of simbox frauds.
He said people involving in such act are major rogues to the government because they are bypassing the National Revenue Authority.
He used the meeting to assure the General Public that service providers will be given the necessary support to improve on coverage.