The Acting Director General of the Bureau of Public Enterprises (BPE), Dr. Vincent Onome Akpotaire, has enjoined owners of the Successor Companies (SCs) of the defunct Power Holding Company of Nigeria (PHCN) to make their rebranding effort to reflect in improved service delivery to consumers in the country.
According to him, no matter their genuine efforts to invest in equipment and infrastructure, “what the Nigerian consumer is concerned with is improved and efficient power supply”.
The BPE boss who gave the advice in Benin City, Edo State when he led a BPE team on a fact finding visit to the Benin Electricity Distribution Company (BEDC) commended the company for its efforts to improve services and rebrand.
However, he maintained that the efforts would come to naught if the company does not impact on the quality of life of its consumers.”Your effort to improve services is quite impressive but rebranding is not only in colours but also in the way your operations and services impact on the quality of life of your customers”, he stated
While admonishing the company to constantly interact with its customers through Town Hall Meetings and publicity; he enjoined BEDC to also use the instrumentality of the Association of Nigerian Electricity Distributors (ANED) to enlighten its customers on a continuous basis.
He noted with excitement, the positive infrastructural transformation of the company in the last two years compared to the dilapidated infrastructure that was the lot of the company when he visited some time ago, adding that if the customers were not enlightened on the efforts being made, the spate of fracas with field staff by some communities would not abate. He noted that the fracas the SCs were engaged in with their customers was tied to the twin issue of tariff and power supply.
The BPE boss decried the spate of vandalism of facilities and attack on staff of power companies across the country and stressed that these have to do “with the gaps in the value chain in terms of tariff, power supply and the willingness of customers to pay which need to be worked on.”
Earlier in her presentation, the Managing Director of BEDC, Mrs Funke Osibodu, said the company prides itself in the area of human capital development as it was constantly upgrading its staff at all levels through a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) it signed with Elizade University for continuous training of the staff. She said the company has 3,000 employees.
Mrs Osibodu said for improved commercial operation, BEDC has engaged a team of professionals from Kosovo through the assistance of USAID to man strategic Business Units. “The team will creatively boost commercial activities and at the same time being sensitive to the cultural differences in Nigeria”, she added.
The MD said the BEDC was deploying a first level Grid metering monitor especially for Maximum Demand (MD) customers’ right from the office and that “there is a Complaint resolution mechanism which helps customers to assess themselves even before getting to the BEDC offices”
She decried the hostile activities of some customers resulting in physical attack on the staff; vandalism of offices and equipment as well as the destruction of vehicles which resulted in the shutting down of some stations in Auchi, in Edo state and Sapele in Delta State.