Staff Casualised Workers Or Face Industrial Action, NUEE Warns KEDCO

NUEE, KEDCO, Workers, StaffThe National Union of Electricity Employees (NUEE) has issued a 7-day ultimatum to the Kaduna Electricity Distribution Company (KEDCO) to confirm the over 2,000 staff under its employment or face industrial disharmony.

Addressing reporters in Kaduna State, the Northwest Zonal Assistant Secretary of the union, Mr Moses Amedu, decried what he called the ‘unfavourable policy and casualisation’ of workers by the company.

He accused the management of Kaduna Electric of deliberately refusing to confirm the workers over 16 months after they were employed, and also laying off some staff without any reason.

Mr Amedu vowed that the union would paralyse activities at the company if the management fails to confirm the workers and recall the sacked ones.

“Kaduna Electric under its watch did not train any of their staff since their appointment in September 2015 till date, and expects them to perform magic.

“Staff are indiscriminately transferred, irrespective of their location or status with no transfer benefit.

“The management is evasive to all labour relationship and do not carry them along in their activities.

“We are hereby giving a one-week ultimatum today, February 2, 2017 to attend to our demands or risk industrial disharmony,” he said.

KEDCO Reacts To Allegations

However, the management of KEDCO reaffirmed the company’s unalloyed respect for both national and international labour laws and conventions.

Reacting to the allegations, the company’s Head of Corporate Communications, Mr Abdulazeez Abdullahi, said that more than 90% of the workers have been confirmed while a negligible percentage that failed to measure up to the basic requirement of the company were laid off.

He explained further that some staff were put on a six months’ probation to give them a chance to improve on their performance.

Mr Abdullahi restated that the company was committed to ensuring harmonious working relations with its staff.

He noted that the management had submitted a draft ‘condition of service’ to the union for its input over a month ago, stressing that the union was yet to revert to the company.

Over 90% Staff Confirmed

“The management followed a rigorous evaluation procedure in assessing its staff, most of whom were confirmed this week.

“More than 90% of the workers have been confirmed while a negligible percentage that failed to measure up to the basic requirement of the company were laid off.

“Also, some staff were put on a six months’ probation to give them a chance to improve their performance.

“And with the confirmation exercise over, the company is poised growth as it will soon unveil a comprehensive training plan to enhance staff skills and productivity.

“The confirmation exercise was delayed because of the tedious nature of the exercise that included a verification of the academic qualifications of its about 3,000 workforce.

“The management has in the spirit of wider consultation, submitted a draft ‘condition of service’ to the electricity workers’ union for its input over a month ago and the union is yet to revert to the company.

“The National Union of Electricity Employees (NUEE) had expressed reservation on the outcome of the talent review recently conducted by Kaduna Electricity Distribution Company,” Abdullahi said.

Stolen Power Installations Recovered From Vandals In Kano

Power, Vandals, KanoThe Anti-vandalism Joint Task Force (JTF) recently inaugurated in Kano State has recovered electrical installations worth millions of naira from suspected vandals in the state.

The task force was constituted by the MD/CEO of Kano Electricity Distribution Company Plc (KEDCO) Dr Jamil Gwamna, to protect electrical installations in the northwest Nigerian state.

A statement by the spokesperson for KEDCO, Mohammed Kandi, revealed on Wednesday that the JTF raided a warehouse at Ranji quarters in Tudun Murtala, suspected to be hideout for vandals.

Mr Kandi said that the operation followed an information that large items of power installation had been kept in a premises purportedly owned by a scrap vendor.

“One of the suspected vandals (name withheld), who was arrested at the scene, admitted during a preliminary investigation by officers of the Nigerian Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC) that he had been in the business for the past three years.

“He also claimed buying the items which comprised 40 bunches of vandalised copper cables and five rolls of vandalised aluminium conductor weighing about 360kg from a trailer-laden with scrap materials,” the statement read.

The spokesman informed that the suspects would be prosecuted and called on residents to assist the firm in watching over the power installations in their area.

He lauded the management’s decision to set up the JTF with a view to clampdown on vandals and reduce the tide of vandalism in KEDCO’s coverage area of Kano, Katsina and Jigawa states.

Kaduna Disco To Distribute Free 500,000 Pre-Paid Meters

Electricity-meterThe Kaduna Electricity Distribution Company, says it has mapped out a five year plan to procure and distribute 500,000 pre-paid meters to its customers free of charge. 

The company’s  Head of  Corporate Communications, Abdulazeez Abdullahi,  told reporters that 100,000 pre-paid meters would be distributed to customers each year, as part of efforts to address issues associated with over-billing and estimated bills.

This is as business activities resumed at the Electricity Company a day after it was shut down as a result of protests by the organised labour over increased electricity tariff.

The Trade Union Congress and the Nigeria Labour Congress had On Monday kicked against the 45 per cent increase in electricity tariff by the Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Agency (NERC).

Operating At A Loss

The labour unions locked the main gate of the Kaduna Electricity Distribution Company during the protest. The unions while describing the increase as unjustifiable and anti-people, demanded for the reversal of the increase or they would continue with the protest.

Some of the customers – welders and business centre operators – complained that the increment was very high and had already affected their income.

Some of them, yet to get their own pre-paid meters, lamented being over billed heavily every month. They, however, called on the Federal Government to reverse the increment and make meters available to them.

Meanwhile, the management of KEDCO, insisted that the protest by the labour unions was unwarranted, as due process was followed by the government before the NERC came up with the increment.

The Minister of Power, Works and Housing had also said that the increase in tariff was necessary to attract investment in the sector.

Speaking to Channels Television, Mr  Abdullahi explained that KEDCO held a consumers forum last year where the issue of the increment was tabled and agreed by all parties. He stated that since the company took over the management last year, it had been operating at a loss with the old tariff.

In spite of the challenges , Mr Abdullahi further explained that the company was currently carrying out customers’ enumeration with a view to knowing the actual number of electricity users within its franchise area.

He explained that the process would be followed with mass pre-paid meters deployment which should commence in due course.

The top official of KEDCO complained that customers under its network were owing over 30 billion Naira, a situation he said was affecting the smooth operation of the company to serve its customers better. According to him, a large chunk of the amount was owed by the Federal and State government agencies, parastatals and military institutions.

The Kaduna Electricity Distribution Company was handed over to the core investor on December 4, 2014, after the preferred bidder, the North-west Power Limited fulfilled all requirements.

While stating that electricity supply within its network coverage had improved significantly, KEDCO stressed that there was room for further improvement, as soon as its revenue profile got better.

KEDCO Says Plans For 24 Hour Power Supply In Top Gear

Power2The Kano Electricity Distribution Company (KADCO) has said arrangements are in top gear to begin a 24 hour uninterrupted power supply in Kano, Katsina and Jigawa States.

At a five day induction workshop for the company’s new staff, the chairman of KEDCO, Mr Tajudden Dantata said the plan was part of the company’s effort to ensure the revival of industrial sector in Kano state, half of which were closed down due to the inadequate supply of electricity.

Over 400 graduates were employed to replace the retired old PHCN workers who were recently discharged by KEDCO.

According to Mr Tajudden, millions of jobs were lost due to the closure of industries in Kano State, a development attributed mainly to the lack of electricity supply.

The chairman maintained that strict measures were put in place to ensure productivity. He further warned the newly employed staff that whoever was found wanting would be rooted out.

On his part, the managing director of the company, Mr Jamilu Gwamna, said the five-day training would serve as an eye opener for the new staff to fully understand KEDCO’S operational guidelines and the in-house policy.

The new staff are also to, within the first 90 days of their probation, prove competent by using their knowledge to boost productivity.

Meanwhile, as the Kano electricity distribution company expect productivity from the new staff, the staff say their expectation is not beyond conducive working environment as well meaningful welfare package.