How We’re Addressing Estimated Billing, Metering Issues At KEDCO – Gwamna

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The Kano Electricity Distribution Company (KEDCO) has experienced progress and undergone various transformational processes within the last eight years under the leadership of Dr Jamilu Isyaku Gwamna, the Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer of KEDCO. In this interview, Dr Gwamna gives account of his stewardship in KEDCO and the milestones of the DisCo eight years after the power sector privatisation.

How is KEDCO addressing the issue of estimated billing systems?

Well as an organization that aligns with the policies and programmes of the government aimed at improving the power sector, we have embraced to a 100 per cent level the issue of metering. We are committed in this regard because that remains the only way of ending issues of estimated billing in our franchise. This has remained the major complaint from customers but we have started addressing that through the massive roll-out of meters under the Meter Asset Provider (MAP) scheme and the National Mass Metering Programme of the Federal Government; so we are on course and there is no going back on metering as far as KEDCO franchise is concerned. 

What are the major challenges at KEDCO and how are you addressing them?

Our major challenges have to do with some customers’ attitudes.

When we talk of vandalism, theft of our equipment, illegal connection, meter bypass and non-payment of electricity bills which are our major challenges, they all have to do with attitudes. That’s why we often call on our numerous customers across our franchise areas to be supportive and know that we need their cooperation with regard to the challenges I listed above for KEDCO to operate effectively and efficiently.

How is KEDCO faring with regard to customer satisfaction?

One thing that is key to your brand as an organization and that’s customers’ perception and expectations about your organization in terms of what you can offer as well as how they interact with your brand going forward. This is key to trust-building too and that’s why we consider customers satisfaction a top priority for our organization.  

In this regard, we have created over 250 customer service points and Technical Service Points, as well as call centres across our franchise and this, is geared towards the satisfaction of our customers as well as addressing their complaints. 

Quality service delivery is non-negotiable for us in KEDCO and being an organization that listens we often engage our customers to get inputs from them to improve service delivery and give value for money

How was KEDCO when you took over leadership eight years back?

Well! KEDCO as you know is into power distribution, handling its affairs in Kano, Katsina and Jigawa states. When I took over the company, I ensured that things must be done in a way to make the company survive and to improve on our equipment and other responsibilities but that cannot be achieved effectively with what we met on the grounds; so I developed a blueprint to transform KEDCO and today we are not where we want to be but we are proud of where we are.

For instance, the collection was about 600 million when I took over the leadership of the company; but now the collection has been jerked up to between N4 and N4.3 billion monthly.

In the area of the workforce, how was it then and now?

You know the greatest asset of any organization is its workforce. When I talk of the workforce, to me it’s a combination of number and quality of employees. For the last eight years, every year we organize a series of training and workshops across all the cadres for effective performance. Now, I am proud of my staff because, over the years, they have helped in driving in good results. I ensure that our employees are well trained and retrained periodically to keep them in shape as well as provide them with a decent working environment as a way of motivating them to produce results and collectively we have made a series of successes today.

What operational transformation did you bring to KEDCO?

In the area of operation, we have done extremely well and this is consciously so because operation to a large extent determines how well you are able to satisfy your customers as an organization. Under my leadership we have been able to invest a lot to expand our networks through acquisition of new assets as well as constant maintenance culture. For instance, we have injected about 500 new transformers as well as other equipment worth billions of naira.

We also bought over 200 operational vehicles as well as motorcycles aimed at smoothening operations while speedily addressing complaints or issues of emergencies.

In this year, we have plans for more expansions because our customer base is growing so we need to expand to be able to deliver on our mandate and we are committed to meeting the expectations of our customers and giving them experiences that are memorable and heartwarming.

What is your target for KEDCO this year?

Our target is to realize a monthly target of at least 9 to 10 billion naira going forward. We are already on a good path in that regard. To achieve this we mapped out strategies and we are adhering strictly to these strategies. We also took some stringent measures to cut out wastages as well as block all leakages and also improve customer relations as a tool to get a friendly atmosphere for customers to play their roles in supporting KEDCO and other strategies.

So all efforts and strategies are being explored towards meeting this target; in fact our sustainability plan which we started two months back is yielding positive results in that regard.

You also have a passion for engaging youth, what have you done?

Well, I believe in the fact that youth owns the future and in KEDCO, we are very futuristic in our approach. So whatever we do, we look into the future to see how we will remain relevant to compete healthily and become the best.

Secondly, Nigerian youths if given the chance and platform can be very productive and innovative; so we engage them, empower them and give them the opportunity to be relevant and become assets in our society.

Also, looking at the fact that government alone cannot engage everyone; we are giving the youth the opportunity to contribute to national development while assisting the government too in the area of job creation for our young people.

DAILY TRUST……

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