Thursday, 21 June 2018

MEET THE STAFF SERIES



Increasing Our Market Size is Key to Meeting Our Collections Target… Tambuwal


CCD: Nura Faruk Tambuwal, tell us about your journey in Kaduna Electric?
Nura Faruk  Sokoto Regional Office

NFT: I joined the Company in January 2008 when it was PHCN as officer 3 (lines). So, I was opportune to witnessed the transition to Kaduna Electric. I was one of the lucky ones that scaled through a rigorous recruitment exercise by Kaduna Electric in 2015 and was retained. I supervised many Service Centers in Kebbi Regional Office, namely Bulasa Feeder, Bayan kara Feeder and Tambuwal Feeder. In April 2018, I was redeployed to Sokoto Regional Office as a Feeder Manager, Water Works Feeder.
The journey has been a mixture of challenges and success; it has not been easy because of the nature of the service we provide but there have equally been some achievements, which we must not fail to acknowledge; when I assumed duty at the Water Works Feeder in April, the revenue collection of march was 6.5million naira, then in May, we raised it to 7.8 million naira. I believe in team work and the staff that work under me really cooperate, we work as a team. We are not relenting; we will continue to put in our best in meeting the set target of the feeder.

CCD: As a supervisor, how do you run the service center?
NFT: Well, my primary assignment is to steer the activities of marketing, engineering and other departments under my center with the sole objective of ensuring a 100% collection of revenues and ensure that the customers’ complaints are resolved within shortest time. I also monitor the bill distribution process on daily basis through painstaking review of the established trackers; for example, I follow the
process carefully when bills are printed to ensure that all bills are fully distributed to the customers. I also maintain a culture of morning briefing with my staff on daily basis, it helps me a lot to know where I will put more emphasis in achieving my target.
CCD: What is your total customer population?
NFT: I can categorically state that we have 4,350 customers, both prepaid and postpaid. However, the prepaid customers are not more than 5 percent of the total customers’ population. I have a concrete plan already, I gave each sales rep a target so that an average of 120 customers are captured on a monthly basis, we hope to hit higher figures and increase our customers base.
CCD: Meeting our collection target is a major challenge facing the Regional Office now, how do we boost the collection?
NFT: well, increasing our market size is the key here, and that can be achieved through continuous enumeration and separation of both existing and new customers. Thus, the more customers are captured into the billing system, the more revenue to be generated. Secondly, we must intensify efforts at blocking leakages such as energy theft, meter bypass and recovery of outstanding debt, these will surely increase collection of Regional Office.
Finally, I must commend the effort of enforcement team of the Regional Office for the wonderful job they are doing in blocking leakages.

CCD: Give us a breakdown of your customer classification?
NFT: Out of a total of 4,350 customers, 4,250 are post-paid customers, 100 are prepaid customers.

CCD: What are the strategies for an effective cash collection?
NFT: Ensure that MDs and Non-MD bills are printed within the first week of every month, after monthly salaries have been paid, to enable salary earners pay their bills as at when due. Also establish and maintain good rapport with traditional leaders in rural communities who have been helpful to us in terms of revenue collection and generation, tariff re-classification to ensure that our customers are placed on appropriate tariff class. There is also the need for more awareness/sensitization campaigns. We need the buy-in of all the stakeholders.

CCD: What would you like to be remembered for?
NFT: I would like people to remember me for my integrity, honesty and transparency.

CCD: Your last word to staff at this point?
 NFT: I want all the staff to be on a positive side. Let us prove ourselves to be the best and let service to the Company be our goal.




Thursday, 7 June 2018

MEET THE STAFF SERIES


The Company Will Excel if Everybody Takes Ownership of the Business…..Tommy Ogunsola


CCD: Can you please tell us a bit about yourself?
AO: Tommy Ogunsola is a young man from a humble background, I have a degree in Management Information System and MSc in Management Information Systems; I have some other qualifications like NIM, National Institute of Management and BCS, British in Computer Society. For my work background, I did four years in HSBC Bank in UK as a Senior Customers Service/ Data Analyst; when I left, I worked for five years with Lloyds Bank Group in UK as a Data Analyst and now in Kaduna Electric.

CCD: How did it start with you at Kaduna Electric?
TO: I joined Kaduna Electric in February, 2018 as a Data Analyst in the Commercial Department, it began with mixed feelings; shock, anxiety, optimism and so forth.  From what I mentioned earlier, where I worked before, to me Kaduna Electric is still a child, there is a lot that need to be done in terms of getting all the data ready, ethics and so on.

CCD: What specifically is your responsibility?
TO: I am a Data Analysts; the importance of the accuracy and integrity of data in an Electricity company cannot be over emphasized. Once you get your data correctly, then you can go and chase the money out.
My job specifically is to manage the data of Commercial Department, I do that by joining the existing data and making sure there is data integrity. I ensure all the reports they send to us on daily basis tally with what we have, for instance on a bulk code we have a number of DTs. DTs are like transformers, we have up to one thousand and there are labeled with names. They must match with what is on our system, with what people are reporting from the field. Any one that is taken out we must know, so we don’t expect revenue on those that have been taken out, all the time we struggle enough with the input. 
I am proud to say 2billion Naira revenue collected last month was hit for the company and for June, we did a lot of data plan. We have engaged sales reps on SMS being sent to them, we are tracking every movement of all the sales reps through irecharge devices. The devices have a tracker which I am managing, so I can see their movements and payments on my dashboard. At the end of the month I send the report that XYZ did not use their device and they will be cautioned for not using it.

CCD: How can your role as a Data Analyst help to block revenue leakages in the company?
TO: My role as a data analyst, is helping the company block revenue leakages. Because what I understand is that Kaduna Electric has never had a way of reporting daily sales to let their sales reps on the field know and see what is ahead of them. There is a link between what they report to Hafsat and accounts unit. So, what I do when I get data from Hafsa and accounts on daily sales, I compare it with their target, you may think you hit your target. But I created a template where I put the data and send it on daily basis to sales reps for them to see what they have done so far. So basically, data plan helps and I am still doing a lot of data plan.

CCD: One of our major issue is the ATC&C losses, what do you think need to be done to minimize the losses?
TO: Once we improve collection we can manage to reduce the loses and these can be done by everyone, taking charge of what they are assigned to do, like if I am giving ten clusters, I should make sure all the customers on that cluster pay their bills and shouldn’t be less than their current charges; we cannot manage our infrastructures without getting our money and we can do that with commitment. Our strategy team have been doing our home work because a lot of people assume that Head Office commercial team rest a lot. Though, is a free world, we allow you say whatever they feel is right, we don’t need to talk, we let the numbers do the talking for us. Kaduna Electric as a company, from the public era to private have not seen the changes we put in, nobody else need to prove a point to anybody since in the history of Kaduna Electric, Kaduna Electric have never hit the 2billion.

CCD: Appeal/suggestion to the Management or staff?
TO: everybody should take ownership of what you’ve been given to do and make sure you do it to your best and please if an email is send or receive, show acknowledgement.




Tuesday, 5 June 2018

KADUNA ELECTRIC FRONTLINE JUNE EDITION

Audit Ensures Optimal Resources’ Utilization and Curbs Wastage's….. Abubakar Diggi


Alh Abubakar Diggi, the new Head, Internal Audit Unit is seasoned Administrator and a certified Accountant, with vast experience in financial management.  He bares his mine to Asma’u Muhammad on the restructuring of the Internal Audit Unit and the challenges besetting the Company and how optimistic he is about the future.


CCD: Alh. Abubakar Diggi can you please brief us about yourself?
AD: My name is Alh. Abubakar Diggi, I attended my primary school in Diggi, Kalgo Local Government in Kebbi State; a Commercial College called Ahmadu Bello College, Sokoto; I also attended Polytechnic Birnin Kebbi for my National Diploma (ND) and Higher National Diploma (HDN) in Accountancy; I also studied at Bayero University where I obtained my Postgraduate Diploma in Management (PGD); I hold a Master Degree in Business Administration from Ahmadu Bello University Zaria; I am also a qualified member of a professional accounting body, Nigerian Collage of Accountancy Jos (NCA); any moment from now, I will have my fellowship investiture because I registered ten years ago and everybody that registered after ten years automatically become a fellow; I have passed through so many accounting process. I stated working with PCHN in 1997 and now working with Kaduna Electric so I have experience of about twenty years.

CCD: Congratulations Sir, you are barely one month now in your new office as the Head, Internal Audit Unit, so how do you intend to ensure that all internal controls to checkmate fraud works effectively?
AD- Yes, I am one month now on this new assignment, I have started working but you know it is a new place for me, I am now acclimatizing with the situation I met; I am planning to see how the internal control elements of the Company would be put in a good use. For any organization, especially a profit oriented organization like ours, definitely the internal control element must be put in place properly. As we know, the internal control is a process of ensuring the achievement of organization’s operational efficiency through an effective and reliable accounting submissions and compliance with laid down rules, regulations and policies of the Company. So, whatever we do, we must look at this policy, we must obey the regulations; so internal control, and by extension, Internal Audit is to ensure that all laid down procedures are followed, accounting and other financial regulations are complied with; and all avenues through which fraud could be perpetrated are checked and plugged, etc. In the internal control element, we have activities that need to be check immediately like activities of corrective measures, control measures and detective measures; so this three factors need to be considered; when you put these things together any time you see you detect, you control and apply whatever necessary to checkmate the occurrence of the fraud.

CCD: How important is the Internal Audit Unit to the success of the organization?
AD: The Importance of the Audit Unit in any organization cannot be overemphasized; it ensure optimal utilization of available resources and curb wastages; In our own case now, the internal audit is a very important aspect of the on-going restructuring. Restructuring means putting A where A should be and putting B where it is supposed to be, and when A and B placed in their rightful place, the structure will diffidently work well. So internal audit department is very important when putting this restructure in place. The also auditor checks, identify malfeasance and make recommendation to the Management; these recommendations are studied by the disciplinary team and take necessary administrative actions against erring officials which is really helping the organization by checkmating cases of frauds in the Company.
The Audit Unit is a driver that drives the activities of all the other departments. The Internal Audit Unit of any organization have process and ours is no exception, we also have process. So we follow those processes like any other process, people should not look at us as cog in the wheel of progress; for example, when a worker apply for certain funds to carry out certain function, if he or she submit a document for approval and an auditor mention some observations, people tend to be unhappy because of the benefitting factor, some people may tend to look at such corrective effort as an attempt to deny them of the likely benefit;  but the auditor and any other department for that matter are working towards the attainment of the Company’s objective. This is the same with other departments, we have our process like people in commercial have their own process in delivering bills, the same thing in audit, we have a process and must be put in place  for the organization to move forward.

CCD: How do you ensure that out stations like Regional Offices, Service Centres and any other office comply with all financial regulations of the Company?
AD: As I told you earlier, the office is just being expanded with the Head now, I am very sure the Management is having plans to make more expansion, so staying with only 3 to 5 staff of audit cannot solve audit problem par say; the way I am looking at it, we need more hands so that we can reach those areas I have mentioned earlier;  if we have more hands, definitely we would go and lecture them and even go to the field to see for ourselves what are they doing, so from there we can put necessary control. By going to the field to see their activities in terms of how they distributes their bills, how they monitor, cash collections activities and so on. So when we go to these Service Centre ourselves by seeing us definitely, they would know that something new has started happening in this Company.

CCD: What do we look for in a good auditor?
AD: Good auditor have certain qualities; we have statutory qualities, professional and general qualities. The statutory qualities of an auditor are a quality that an auditor must possesses, that academic qualification and must be a member of professional accounting bodies such as Institute of Chartered Accountant of Nigeria or any certify body like ANAN and any other body recognized by the law. Then professional qualities for any audit to retain a professional quality he must have enough knowledge of theory and principles of accounting, taxation, economics, statistics, general knowledge of all activities that is required for him to possess the qualities; and the general qualities which is expected of an auditor is to be very hardworking, honest, impartial, tactful in carrying out his duties, have a common sense and must always  maintain confidentiality that is whatever happen should be disclosed only to the people of concern so these are the some of the general personal qualities that an auditor is supposed to possess.

CCD: In what ways is the Audit Unit helping to block revenue leakages?
AD: Blocking the leakages of revenue is a duty of all staff. Audit Unit is helping by visiting the Area Offices and Service Centres and also going to the field; like I mentioned earlier, by the time Sales Reps realized that auditors are checking them from bills sharing up to the cash collections, they will all be alive to their responsibilities and if they are doing something wrong, it can easily be discovered. Likewise in our various cash offices, now we have even started unscheduled visits to do cash count of the money they have collected without them knowing that we are coming to do it. We have started discovering issues in some areas for now and the news is everywhere that we are checkmating the activities unaware which calm down a lots of people and I believe the leakages would subside by doing these type of functions.

Audit Unit is helping by visiting the Area Offices and Service Centres and also going to the field; like I mentioned earlier, by the time Sales Reps realized that auditors are checking them from bills sharing up to the cash collections, they will all be alive to their responsibilities and if they are doing something wrong, it can easily be discovered. Likewise in our various cash offices, now we have even started unscheduled visits to do cash count of the money they have collected without them knowing that we are coming to do it. We have started discovering issues in some areas for now and the news is everywhere

CCD: Any appeal or advice to the Management or staff?
AD: My advice to the Management and our colleagues from other departments and units is in terms of looking at audit as enemies; often staff from other sections don’t want to cooperate with us especially when carrying out investigation or avail us with what we want on time; some even see any action taken by an auditor like you want them to be sacked or something like that, which is not. We just want to follow due process; we have principles and general objective they should not look at us like a policeman or somebody who is after their jobs; even yesterday, somebody called me and said “am I at the police station” (laughs), though we are the Company’s police, but ours is to protect the interest of the Company. So we should understand that there are rules and regulations, if not we are not going to move forward. All staff should stand up and obey all the rules and regulations of the Company 

Thursday, 31 May 2018

MEET THE STAFF SERIES

Ensuring Compliance with industry Standard is the Key to Engineering Success Abdulrahman Lawal Rikiji

My greatest strength is my computer modeling skills. I can learn to work with new tools, new software quickly, without a need to read a tutorial or a guide. I can work fast, without making mistakes.

CCD: Can you tell us briefly about yourself?
ALR: My name is Abdulrahman Lawal Rikiji, a graduate of Electronics and Electrical Engineering from University of Sunderland. I am currently working at Kaduna Electric in the Engineering and Technical Service Department, under the Network Planning and Projects Unit. I was recently deployed from the Head Office to Zamfara Regional Office as the Team Lead, Network Planning and Projects.
CCD: When did you join Kaduna Electric and what is your primary responsibility? 

ALR: I joined the Company on the 1st of September 2015 as a Management Trainee II under Engineering and Technical Service Department. Primarily as a team, we carry out inspections of new projects to ensure compliance with the company standards and I also managed asset register of the Regional Office.
CCD: One of the major challenges confronting the Company now is its inability to fully account for the energy received, what do you think can be done to improve the situation?
ALR: I think no single solution can do away with poor revenue to energy ratio, but the most important step in ensuring accountability of energy is for the Company to know, identify and register all its customers. I do believe that by setting up a more robust, sustainable and credible customers engagement platform, with a responsive 2-way communication process between the customers and the Company, there will be ease of resolving issues and complaints, and the customers will feel cared for and this will prompt a rapid response by the customers to perform their obligation towards the Company.
CCD: We want to know more about your responsibility and the value you add to the Company?
ALR: Like I said earlier, our primarily responsibility as a team is to carry out inspections of new projects to ensure compliance with the Company’s standards and also planning of network with respect to future development and expansion. Evaluates and recommends changes to current and future network, determine and recommended where additional capacity is needed to meet the energy requirements of the customers as well as adding value to the Company's assets.
CCD: Network planning is one Unit of the Engineering and Technical Service Department, what is your relationship with other units of your department and how do you work as a team?
ALR: Well… working together with other units of the department is a necessity; like when it comes to commissioning of new projects, we work hand in hand with the Protection and Testing Unit, and in most cases, network inspection requires working with technical line managers.
CCD: What do you sincerely feel is your weakness in terms of your job?
ALR: Well… in truth, average communication skills are my weakness. I don’t have a lot of experience speaking in front of a large group and I still get a bit nervous when asked to make presentation. Though not easy, I try to improve my skills.
CCD: What are your strength?
ALR: Umm… well sincerely speaking I am a detail oriented person, with observational skills and time management skills but one of my greatest strengths that I like to talk about is my computer modeling skills. I can learn to work with new tools, new software quickly, without a need to read a tutorial or a guide. I can work fast, without making mistakes.
CCD: Any appeal or suggestion to staff and management?
ALR: I think looking at the current situation, public enlightenment will go a long way in improving the current situation of the company.