KEDCO@ 5: Achieve­ments, chal­lenges and fu­ture plans

Daily Trust - - BUSINESS - By Ka­malu Sani

Suc­cess that is or­dained by trans­for­ma­tion and ref­or­ma­tion is not ac­ci­den­tal. I can tell you that ref­or­ma­tion is not and will never be a child of ac­ci­dents be­cause it is a prod­uct of metic­u­lous and pur­posedriven lead­er­ship and the de­sire to turn the tides against the neg­a­tives for hu­man­ity to have a taste of what it feels to have the right man at the helm who is com­mit­ted to putting the round peg in round hole to min­i­mize in­ef­fi­ciency, while pi­lot­ing their or­ga­ni­za­tion to star­dom. That has been the story of Kano State Elec­tric­ity Dis­tri­bu­tion Com­pany (KEDCO) un­der the trans­form­ing MD/CEO, Dr Jamilu Isyaku Gwamna, Sar­dau­nan Gombe. Time may not per­mit one to give a his­tor­i­cal ex­cur­sion into how KEDCO was birth but in as suc­cinctly as pos­si­ble, the story of the new phase of KEDCO is that that calls for cel­e­bra­tions as the five years un­der the able lead­er­ship of Dr. Gwamna and his highly en­er­gized team have turned the for­tunes of KEDCO around and cur­rently driv­ing the com­pany to great­ness in the near­est pos­si­ble fu­ture. This is not to say there are no chal­lenges but the team in KEDCO is highly in­spired in their in­ge­nious abil­ity to make chal­lenges the raw ma­te­ri­als for the se­ries of suc­cesses recorded so far. Hence this piece has its main aim in reel­ing out the achieve­ments of KEDCO, chal­lenges and its plan for the fu­ture.

For a coun­try like ours where di­ver­si­fi­ca­tion is highly sought to boost the econ­omy and fas­ten growth from all sides, one needs not de-em­pha­size the rel­e­vance of the power sec­tor as it has that ca­pac­ity to pro­pel in­dus­tri­al­iza­tion which in turns will cre­ate em­ploy­ment for the teem­ing youths. Con­stant power sup­ply is the hall­mark of a de­vel­oped econ­omy in con­tem­po­rary times as it has a way of boost­ing in­vest­ments and at­tract­ing in­vestors from around the globe. Presently, the re­forms of KEDCO have in re­cent times un­der the lead­er­ship of Sar­dau­nan Gombe been yield­ing the needed suc­cess story for which such re­forms were in­tended. The achieve­ments of KEDCO have been en­veloped in dif­fer­ent pack­ages: dis­tri­bu­tion, im­proved cus­tomer ser­vice and em­ploy­ment for youths.

De­spite chal­lenges in power gen­er­a­tion in the coun­try, Kano State Elec­tric­ity Dis­tri­bu­tion Com­pany’s Chief Tech­ni­cal Of­fi­cer En­gi­neer, David Omoloye dis­closed that KEDCO marked Five years of ex­is­tence that the com­pany has been able to im­prove its power dis­tri­bu­tion ca­pac­ity to cus­tomers from 220MW it in­her­ited to 344MW within four years. This has re­ally helped in im­prov­ing the power sup­ply in most parts of the states con­cerned: Kano, Katsina and Ji­gawa. To­day, in­dus­tries are spring­ing up and the cost of man­u­fac­tur­ing has been dras­ti­cally re­duced be­cause the en­vi­ron­ment con­ducive for man­u­fac­tur­ing is be­ing cre­ated by KEDCO. The power sec­tor re­forms by KEDCO has boosted in­vest­ment and cre­ated a healthy co-op­er­a­tive in­dus­trial out­fit in the con­cerned states. He also re­vealed that about 65,000 pre­paid me­ters out of 500,000 tar­gets have so far been dis­trib­uted to cus­tomers with a view to ad­dress­ing dif­fi­cul­ties in col­lect­ing elec­tric­ity con­sump­tion bills. As far as a revo­lu­tion in the power sec­tor is con­cerned, KEDCO has proven that it’s on course to ad­dress­ing the chal­lenges in the sec­tor in the near­est fu­ture.

Fur­ther­more, KEDCO has cre­ated rea­son­able em­ploy­ment op­por­tu­ni­ties for Nige­ri­ans es­pe­cially in the area of build­ing the ca­pac­i­ties of youths to se­cur­ing jobs by re­lated power out­fit in any part of the world. It is on record that from in­cep­tion to date, KEDCO has em­ployed over 2,000 new staff mem­bers which were de­ployed to its re­gional of­fices in Kano, Katsina and Ji­gawa states. The em­ploy­ment ac­cord­ing to KEDCO was done to ex­pand ef­forts and shore up ser­vice de­liv­ery in the re­gions. By this em­ploy­ment, KEDCO made tremen­dous im­pact in as­sist­ing the Nige­rian govern­ment by tak­ing many grad­u­ate engi­neers and tech­nol­o­gists roam­ing the streets in search of un­avail­able jobs to heave a sigh of re­lief as they have been ab­sorbed through the re­forms in KEDCO.

As part of the re­forms within the last four years, KEDCO has been able to re­form the cus­tomer ser­vice ren­dered to their nu­mer­ous cus­tomers across the three states. Its on­line ap­pli­ca­tion which works 24 hours has made it easy for cus­tomers to make pay­ments at their com­fort us­ing their mo­bile phones through var­i­ous on­line pay­ment modes. This has re­duced the avalanche com­plaints by cus­tomers in time past. In spite of th­ese achieve­ments, the com­pany still has some chal­lenges that are be­dev­il­ing its op­er­a­tions in re­cent times. Mr. David Omoloye iden­ti­fied as a ma­jor con­cern that peo­ple are al­ways reluc­tant to pay for power con­sump­tion say­ing ``it is govern­ment’s prop­erty’’.

Dr Gwamna has in dif­fer­ent me­dia plat­forms re­it­er­ated the com­mit­ment of KEDCO to meet­ing the en­ergy de­mand pro­jec­tions as the com­pany ma­tures with time by build­ing more dis­tri­bu­tion net­works and im­prov­ing the billing sys­tems through the dis­tri­bu­tion of me­ters, which will snow­ball into im­prov­ing the rev­enue col­lec­tion for power con­sumed in the re­gions. Gwamna also as­sured that more re­forms were on the way to pro­mote ef­fi­ciency and growth in the power sec­tor to lead im­proved elec­tric­ity ser­vices which is a key fac­tor to driv­ing the economies of Kano, Katsina and Ji­gawa states in the re­al­iza­tion of the eco­nomic vi­sions of th­ese states. It could be re­called that KEDCO came into be­ing fol­low­ing un­bundling of Na­tional Elec­tric Power Au­thor­ity (NEPA) to serve three states in­clud­ing Ji­gawa, Kano and Katsina. Sani wrote this piece from Kano

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