Thursday, 25 January 2018


Unreliable Network Providers, Hindrance To Cash Collection 
 CCD: Abubakar Balarabe, tell us a bit about yourself.
AB: Yes, you got my name correctly, but I am also popularly known as "Kundi". I was born and brought up in Ruwan-Doruwa village in Maru Local Government, Zamfara State. I schooled in Zamfara and Sokoto States. I have Higher National Diploma (HND) in Accounting and Post Graduate Diploma in Public Policy and Administration.
CCD: Tell us what your role is as a staff of Kaduna Electric?
AB:  I am one of those referred to as legacy staff of the defunct NEPA and PHCN. I joined as a Marketer and later grew to the position of a Manager, New Services. I have held quite a number of positions including that of Maximum Demand (MD) Officer and Energy Metering Officer and currently a Supervisor in the Metering Department, where I oversee some of the activities regarding energy metering.
I distribute bills; take meter readings for MD customers and disconnection of defaulting MD Customers under the Area Office.
CCD: You have worked for quite some time now, what would you consider one of your greatest achievements?
AB: I have so many achievements. As a Marketing Supervisor, I trained the new employees that were seconded to Gusau Area Office; I taught them the theoretical aspect and also shared my practical experiences with them.   
The Sales Reps were exposed to topics like Customer Complaints Handling Process, Identification of Meter by Pass, Bill Interpretation, Cluster Demarcation etc.
Also, one of my greatest achievements was my nomination for the Gold Medal award by the management of Gusau Area Office.
And as Metering Supervisor, (my immediate past responsibility) I equally recorded series of achievement viz:
Resolving customers complaints regarding metering.
Timely reading of our GRID and MD Meters.
Proper documentation of all meter related issues.
Proper tariff placement of all our MD customers.
Prompt attendance to customers' complaints regarding metering.
Proper load assessment, analysis of all new customers and periodic review of the non-metered customers.
Curtailing of rampant cases of PPM related illegalities.
CCD: You have just been reassigned to a new unit; tell us what your experience is like.
AB: Yes, I have just been reassigned to Revenue Collection and Assurance Unit, saddled with the main responsibility of ensuring that all revenue due to the company is collected, accounted for, and sent to the Head Office. I also supervise the activities of the Cash Offices.
One thing I noticed since I resumed in this new unit is the difficulty in getting information from other units/departments because it appears some of them are unwilling to give out information or concealing the information.
CCD: Do you find your current role challenging enough?
AB: Yes of course! Especially because it is in line with my chosen profession and it will help me grow professionally.  And I believe my impact and contributions to the growth of this company will be felt even more. Even though I do not have a prior experience in Account's Department, but with crop of people I am working with I will learn quickly.
CCD: In your opinion, what would you consider the most challenging part of doing this job?
AB:  One of the greatest challenges confronting us as a department is inadequate manpower. The number of staff, especially Cashiers, is extremely low. This makes it very difficult for any cashier to go on leave without a vacuum.
Another issue is from the service/network providers and affects customers who have to vend for tokens. This situation sometimes gives them the excuse to bypass their pre- paid meters.
CCD: How would you rate the performance of Gusau Area?
AB: Honestly, with the kind of terrain we are operating, cash collection has been made even more difficult. In spite of all the efforts, strategies and energy we are putting, we are still lagging behind. We adopted various strategies ranging from selection of defaulting customers for individual engagement and disconnection to Feeder-by-Feeder and Substation-by-Substation and Unit-by-Unit disconnection.
We also adopted Saturdays disconnection in areas dominated mostly by civil servants (estates, GRA) and what we call the "weekend cash drive exercise, usually done when salaries are paid to state civil servants. We have equally consulted all the stake holders and influencers that we feel can intervene to resolve the Kaduna Electric's Gusau Area Office and State Government's protracted issue of debt settlement to the tune of N400 million, but all to no avail.
But I can assure you that the staff of Gusau Area Office are hard-working and ready to achieve results; the problem perhaps, are the low level of awareness and poverty of our customers. These I think are affecting our performance.
CCD: Any appeal or suggestions to staff and management?
AB: I am concerned about the issue of metering; I am therefore using this medium to appeal to management to assist Gusau Area Office with more Pre-Paid Meters so that we can meter our difficult customers and most importantly those customers on our 33kv Feeders.
There is also need for the management to provide the area office with independent Internet service to avoid dependence on these unreliable service providers.

Thursday, 18 January 2018



CCD: Please briefly tell us about yourself?
HU:  My name is Hayatu Umaru. I am the supervisor of Industrial feeder, here in Sokoto. I am an indigene of Kebbi State, I attended Cement Primary School, Sokoto and later proceeded to Federal Government College Sokoto. I hold a Bachelor of Arts degree in English from Usmanu Danfodiyo University, Sokoto. I am happily married with a kid.

CCD: When did you join this Company?
HU: I joined the Company on the 1st of September 2015 as a Sales Representative. I had my first tour of duty at Mabera Feeder in Sokoto Area Office.
CCD: What is your primary assignment as the Industrial feeder supervisor?
HU:  My Primary assignment is steering the activities of the feeder. This include supervising the Marketing, Engineering and other units under my feeder with the sole objective of ensuring a 100% revenue collection in Industrial Service Center and ensure that customers complaints are resolved within the shortest possible time.
CCD: What is your vision for your service center?
HU: The first important vision I have for the feeder is quality energy distribution to our customers. Giving our customers steady and qualitative power supply energy will earn us their confidence and loyalty. To succeed in this business, there must be a mutual beneficial relationship between the service provider, in this case, Kaduna Electric and the customers. We have put in place a mechanism to ensure prompt response to customers' complaint and rectification of faults. We are also doing a lot to improve both our billing and collection efficiency.
CCD: It is now over eight months since you took over Industrial feeder, what is your focus and area of priority?
HU: Effective energy management and usage. This involves a lot of things. First is quality energy management; another is reduction of loss of energy on the feeder; Good metering of our customers to determine their actual energy consumption; Billing our customers correctly and delivering bills promptly.
CCD: What are your daily schedules like?
HU: The average day starts with monitoring the power status of the electricity distributed in the feeder, the cash collection figures for the previous day and cumulative for the month, holding daily briefs with my sales reps on basis from 8-8.15AM to discuss issues affecting the feeder and to provide solutions that will move the feeder forward in terms of fault resolution and revenue collection and as the need arise, having full fledge meeting with all staff in the Service Centre. Then at about 8:30, each Sales Rep. goes to his/her cluster and the technical staff attends to pending faults or joins in disconnection exercise. Thereafter, I go out to monitor and supervise their activities.
CCD: What do you consider as your greatest challenge so far?
HU: Well, the challenges are numerous but we have been able to satisfy all categories of customers to the best of our ability; trying to convince customers that we are making all efforts to improve our service delivery and also trying as much as possible to eliminate the possibility of by-passing through regular monitoring. I have about 40 distribution transformers under my feeder, with a lot of ghetto areas with difficult categories of customers but we are doing our best to ensure that our revenue improves. The greatest challenge so far is customers response to payment.
CCD:  This reminds me of the ugly incidence of vandalization across industrial feeder, what do you think is responsible for these cases of vandalization?
HU: Everybody is responsible. Because a responsible Nigerian should report these people but they do not care. And if there is no light everyone will start complaining. However, we need to be conscious of our environment. We have to protect public utilities. We need to volunteer information to security operatives to help track these hoodlums. They are our friends, brothers and relations. They are alive and living with us. So we must fish them out for the system to improve further.
CCD:Can we have your last word to the staff?
HU: I urge all of us to be committed to our respective duties and re-double our efforts in making our company the best among the eleven distribution companies. It is also important to uphold standard practice in the industry as this will make us unique among other companies.

Thursday, 11 January 2018


Shun all Sorts of Fraud and the Sky is Our Limit…..Basiru Abubakar advise Colleagues

MSS- Can we meet you?
B. A:
 My name is Basiru Abubakar, I graduated from Bayero University Kano where I studied Biochemistry.

MSS- When did you join Kaduna Electric?
I joined the service of Kaduna Electric on 1st September 2015 as Sales Representative. I am currently at Argungu Service Centre; that is the Argungu 33KV feeder.

MSS - What are your basic responsibilities as Sales Representative?
B. A:
My basic responsibility is marketing; that is to sell electricity, but in a wider context, my responsibility is to take care of all the activities of marketing and customer services within my cluster. These includes among other things, enumerating and capturing of new customers in my cluster, delivering bills to the post-paid customers and ensuring full payments of the bills. It is also part of my duties to address customers’ complaint wherever such complaints are drawn to my attention. I also ensure that only authorized and register electricity users have access to the service. In other words, we also ensure that that anybody stealing electricity is detected, apprehended and penalized according to the Company’s rules and regulation.

MSS- Can you share with us some of the problems or challenges you encounter in the course of your duty.
B. A:
The major challenge is the customers’ apathy to payment of bills; some of them still believe it is a social service and they need not pay for the service. The second problem is billing issues, like higher or let me say over billing and under billing problems. When billing issues are addressed firmly, I believe our cash collection will improve significantly insha Allah.

MSS -Please how do you address issues of under billing?
We used to call the attention of our metering staff to access the customer's load at peak period and convert it in to naira and kobo for customers to pay.

MSS- Target remains an issue that often generates hot discussion, do you agree with your own target?
B. A.
NO and that's why many marketers want to leave the department because of unrealistic target. There should be more scientific methodology for setting target so that at that end of the day, each sales representative will be given a realistic target. There is also the need for the continuation of the mass metering programme.

MSS - How can we maximize revenue and minimize loses in the Company?
B. A.
 We can do that by constant awareness to both staff and customers. Our colleagues should know that we will surely give account of all our deeds, so be good ambassador of Kaduna Electric where ever you are. While the customers too should know that payment of electricity bills is an obligation; it is no longer social service as being erroneously assumed in some quarters. Also, as I earlier stated, the Management should ensure continuation of the meters deployment programme; we have no option to metering if at all we want to ensure 100% revenue generation.

MSS – Recently, NERC Forum Offices were commissioned at Sokoto, Kebbi and Zamfara States. How will these offices add value to Kaduna Electric?
As you know very well, NERC is a regulator in the electricity market, as such, it is like bringing the referee closer to the players (the consumers and the Company). This is telling us we should keep on doing the right thing; we have to be constantly on our toes. On the other hand, we now have the opportunity to report deviant customers, especially high energy consuming ones and governmental agencies who have failed to meet-up their obligations or are shortchanging the market.

MSS - Do you have any advice to the Management of Kaduna Electric?
 My advice to the Management is one, appraisal should be well monitored, in some instances, the assessment made does not reflect the actual performance of the sales rep or the service centre. Such error is de-motivating and could result in disciplinary action taken against innocent people. Secondly, incentive should be given to those that out shine at different levels.

MSS- Do you have any call to your colleagues, especially fellow sales representatives.
Yes of course, we are always at the tail end of this business and we need to be very vigilant and shun away from all sorts of fraud, we should have contentment of what we are earning monthly. If we maintain these, the sky is our limit

MSS- How do spend your leisure time?
 I like Reading religious books and traveling
MSS - Thank you for the time spent.
 Thank you so much

Thursday, 4 January 2018


We face the challenge of adequate working materials

CCD: Engineer Aliyu Alkali as the Distribution Engineer, tell us how the Makera Area Office is being run?
AA: Usually the Distribution Engineer are in charge of the whole network stability, extension and the new project at the Area Office level. Directly they coordinate the activities of all the service engineers of the company.

CCD: What are your strategies for achieving the Area Office’s target?
AA: Well we articulated various problem feeder by feeder because they are the one that takes supply to the customers. we were trying to see how all of them will be dissolve, we have identify various fault on the line, however mostly on Saturday we normally open a feeder for maintenance and we discovered that if we carry out a maintenance on a feeder that  feeder would became very stable and that has greatly reduce the level of complaint from the customers. While, in terms of our staff we are still be given them training on the job, the training is very necessary for the job if you don’t know it you don’t know it, we always tell them ‘do not guess what you  don’t know’ because that has been causing a staff life; we discover that somebody don’t know the job but because he want to impress you he will say he want to do it. we are trying  all our best to see that they didn't do anything that they don’t know and as much as possible we guide them most at time if they are working on the line or field we normally visit them to monitor their operations, give them guide and make correction when needed.

CCD: What would you consider as your major achievement?
AA: We have a very good cooperation with the entire management from the head office and that has made us to have a very successful operation at the distributions substations. we achieved a lot even though we face some challenges. The success we have was there were renovations maintenance of power transformers at injection sub-station particularly 2-7.5 injection substation has been in a bad shape with the assistance from head office the entire sub-station has been put in good shape.

CCD: Area of relationship management Sir.
AA: Well, to manage staff is very hectic but we are trying our best. Most of the staff particularly the one that come in as a technical staff  we are giving them trying on the job and for those that are actually willing to learn are learning and that is also assisting the success of the job, while that of customers we treat there are complaints as it comes even though is not easy to satisfy a customer hundred percent but we are trying our possible best to see that our customers are happy with us.

CCD: What would you consider as the challenging part of been a Distribution Engineer?
AA: The challenges are numerous which I know it has effected most of the company not Kaduna Electric only, the bigger challenge we are having now is the working materials the ones we have are not very sufficient we still need more to carryout maintenance particularly we discovered now that although the raining  season is out, we have what we call the plan maintenance, routine maintenance and daily maintenance; that of the daily maintenance we are coping with it but, for a plan maintenance we definitely need assistance from the Head Office and that would help us to have stable supply without any interruption of power to the customers. The second constraint is that some of the Sales Reps are slow in understanding their responsibilities and the demand of their offices. I don’t know if some of them had the necessary orientation before they were posted to the fields or not, almost everyday, one has to remind them of certain routine demand of the job, work flow etc. There is also the need for more hands in the Unit.

CCD: With your experience as an engineer, tell us one thing you want the Management to do differently.
AA: They management should send staff for training, is very important and secondly they should provide that needed materials for maintenance .I think with that the Area Offices should be able to grow faster.

Tuesday, 2 January 2018


Predictive Maintenance, The Future of Maintenance

The business of Asset Management is beyond ensuring that transformers and sub-stations are maintained but also determines whether electricity reaches its end users. In this interview, Engr. Aliyu Lawal Mashi, who is the Team Lead, Asset Management made even more interesting revelations from his participation in an Asset Management Summit to educating us on the what the future of maintenance is. Read on…

CCD: Engr. Aliyu Lawal Mashi, you are the Team Lead, Assets Management. Tell us how it all began for you at Kaduna Electric.
ALM: I studied Electrical Engineering. Shortly after graduating I joined the services of the then NEPA, which became PHCN and currently part of Kaduna Electric after PHCN was unbundled. As at 2017 I have spent 20 years in the power sector.
When I say power sector, I mean I have trained in transmission, generation, distribution and the commercial sectors of the industry. 
During this time, I underwent trainings, some lasting as long as 2 years. These trainings were in different areas of transmission, generation and distribution.

CCD: A lot of people still do not understand what Asset Management all about is. Can you throw more light on this?
ALM: The term “Asset Management” is a relatively new concept in the power sector. It used to be O&M (Operations & Maintenance) but with the new arrangement (post privatization) came Asset Management which is a broader concept covering a wide range of activities.
It has to do with maintenance, keeping our network fit and availability; it has to do with technical assets. When we say assets, people may think it includes all assets of the company, but we only deal with the technical assets of the company ranging from power transformers, distribution networksswitchgears and distribution substations.
Generally, we maintain these assets through our Area Offices. All the Distribution Engineers (DE), the Lines Men, the Power System Technicians, the Power Cable Technicians are somewhat staff of the Asset Management Unit.
These assets are scattered all over, so by extension the DEs in-Area Offices are staff of Asset Management Unit.

Talking about the kinds of maintenance we have, there are about two to three types. Basically, for us we do what we refer to as Planned Maintenance (shutting down equipment for the purpose of maintenance) and Unplanned Maintenance (due to a sudden fault or breakdown). Then we have the Predictive Maintenance, although, we do not have the kind of equipment for this kind of maintenance. It is being supported by modern day technology, which is installed in a transformer. This technology has the ability to notify you of an impending fault before it develops, real time with a two to three months’ notice; for instance, it can tell you that the coil inside a transformer is developing a problem so as to enable you to arrange for maintenance. 
This is some of the information we shared during the just concluded workshop in Abuja. Most power industries have gone past Unplanned Maintenance kind of maintenance where a fault suddenly occurs and there has to be shutting down of a network unless there is a disaster; otherwise, what they do is Planned and Predictive Maintenance.

CCD: You have just returned from a workshop organized for Maintenance Engineers, what lessons did you learn? If the lessons are useful, are there plans to train your colleagues internally?
ALM: The workshop was all about maintenance and network reliability; it was designed to build capacity in the area of Maintenance and Network Reliability, even though in the process we discover that it was beyond that because we went to even the safety aspect of our operations and on network expansion.
And yes, the training was very useful as the facilitator is versed in the subject area and it was also a train-a-trainer workshop. Apart from the feedback I am bringing in form a report submitted to the Head of the Department, what I have learnt has to be passed to our colleagues down the ladder. It might interest you to know that plans are underway to train especially the DEs who are going to pass the knowledge down.
The emphasis for us is going to be on Planned Maintenance of our network because of the challenges we are having, in terms of the level of the decay in the network, which we have been deploying our meagre resources tackling.

CCD: There is a general notion that one of the major challenges of the power sector is the bad state of the distribution network, how true is that?
ALM: Frankly speaking, the power sector has been neglected for long especially when compared with international best practices or standard of network.
It is important to say that it is not easy to manage a network such as ours. However, we cannot say it is too bad, it might be described as short of standard and that is why we are doing all we can, with the use of our experience and available resources to maintain it while we build and plan towards attaining international standards.

CCD: Does it mean that when the distribution network is fixed, we can now be guaranteed a more regular and steady supply?
ALM: Like I said earlier, you have to consider the meagre resources available to us. This is a problem that is nationally known, every player is faced with the same challenges and this is largely due to level of our liquidity.
However, the management is doing its best. You must appreciate how much we have achieved in refurbishing our injection substations, where we have our major assets. 
As you very well know, in this business, the transformer is key and that is why the focus has been on our injection substations where we have our power transformers. There have been major rehabilitations, even with the little resources available to us.
We have been carrying out maintenance; take the over headline for instance a lot is being done to address all the observed problems all in a bid to reduce technical losses. Same effort has been put into maintaining some of our Feeders too.

CCD: Achievements…
ALM: If you compare level of technical losses pre-privatization and now, you would agree with me that some progress has been made.
Even though technical loss is not something that can easily be measured however I believe with the little maintenance we have been carrying out, we have been able to reduce to a great extent technical losses. 
For the overloading as a contributory factor to technical losses, so much is being done to tackle these issues even though we have the problem of liquidity.

CCD: You just mentioned overloading, is that what is responsible for load shedding?
ALM: Load shedding is relative, because sometimes load shedding does not mean we don’t have the capacity to accommodate our customers; rather we are doing what we refer to as energy management. 
Of what use is a 24-hour supply to a customer who does not need it and does not have the capacity to pay? This can be likened to opening a tap and leaving it to run. This is why the energy must be diverted to where it is needed.

We are currently working on how we are going to perfect this energy management which will be done by classifying the customers according to their needs. It will be in a such a way that supply will be directed to customers on need basis by grading our feeders into class A, B and C.  Highest paying customers will have a dedicated feeder to supply them 24/7; a middle class, those that have need for 14-16 hours supply will have theirs, then possibly the rural areas where power is not needed in the mornings because they would have gone to the farm, will get supply from 6pm to 12 midnight and they will be comfortable.