April 8, 2019
By Joseph S. Margai
Officials of the National Telecommunications Commission (NATCOM), have on Friday, 5th April, 2019, converged in Bo city, Southern Sierra Leone, to start a four-day retreat for its management and staff.
Themed ‘Moving towards the New Direction’, the retreat was to ensure that management and staff meet to discuss the Commission’s milestones, challenges and how to address them as well as grabbing the opportunities ahead.
Departmental heads of the Commission made presentations on the current operational status.
NATCOM’s Director General, Maxwell Massaquoi, told his staff that that was the first management and staff retreat the new administration was holding since they were appointed.
He said they saw the need to come together as family so as to develop the bond with the people that are making the Commission to move forward, adding that every individual’s little contribution towards the progress of the Commission is important.
“We have to make the staff and management important in this Commission. All of us need each other’s effort to achieve the Commission’s vision and mission. We have made all NATCOM’s staff to understand that we are here to work for the people of Sierra Leone,” he stated.
He said each department and component within the Commission has its own plans based on the budget NATCOM has set for this year, noting that such retreat would help management to know the challenges thee departments were facing in implementing their plans.
He cited that the engineering departmental head raised concerns about the equipment that he needed to make their activities achievable, saying that those were some of the things that the management would take into account and subsequently address them.
“The engineering departmental head made mention of the equipment needed to guard NATCOM’s spectrum space. If a particular operator has a spectrum, he/she must pay for it. If someone owns an FM radio that is not in our database, we will go after that individual and sometimes penalise him/her. The mobile users want quality of service and NATCOM and will ensure that mobile network operators (MNOs) provide that,” he said.
He said since the new administration took over NATCOM, they pledged themselves to sanitise the Commission, citing that due to the moves they have made in recent months, especially in relation to sim card registration, the various operators have encouraged NATCOM to recalibrate the entire system.
“Operators have even told us to bring in the National Civil Registration Authority (NCRA) because NCRA has database of registered citizens who obtain national identity cards. We are cognizance of the fact that sim card registration has national security implications. So we are working to address some of the existing problems using technology,” he said.
NATCOM’s Deputy Director General, Daniel B. Kaitibi, said during the departmental presentations, the heads mentioned their strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats.
“Holistically, after this retreat, all of us would know what we should do in going forward. We want to see how we could improve on revenue mobilisation. We also want to see how we could close all the existing leakages,” he said.
He said previously, the ceiling of the NATCOM building was leaking when it rains, and there was an issue of staff demotivation but since the new administration took over, all of these problems have been solved.
Momoh Koroma, a driver at NATCOM, said since the new administration came to office, under President Bio’s ‘New Direction’ administration, their welfare has been 100 percent improved.
“We have got lot of facilities that we were denied under the previous administration. There is a very cordial relationship between us and both the Director General and his deputy, there is no more barrier between the junior and senior staff. They always come to us and ask about our problems and if there is any, they will find a way to address it,” he said.
He said that was the first time that drivers have been invited and involved in the staff and management retreat.