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.