Nigeria: Stop cash payment to staff, Ikeja Electric tells customers

*Electricity distribution sub-station.

*Electricity distribution sub-station.

12 April 2016, Lagos — AS part of efforts to ensure efficient service delivery to its customers across its network, Nigeria’s largest electricity distribution company, Ikeja Electric, have cautioned customers against making cash payments to its staff, calling such actions an act of sabotage on efforts of the company to improve service delivery across her network.

In a statement by the Company’s Head of Corporate Communications, Felix Ofulue noted that the company’s Linesmen, Engineers and Technicians are not authorised to receive cash payments of any kind.

He said, “Basically, our Linesmen should not collect reconnection fees, neither are our Energy Sales Representatives (ESR’s) permitted to receive bill payments on behalf of customers. We have therefore embarked on an aggressive “Name & Shame” campaign where parties who engage in this fraudulent act will face prosecution as dictated by the laws of the land,” he said.

Ofulue, who labelled staff and ex-staff who engaged in this illegal act as saboteurs, further urged all customers to resist efforts by any staff to extract monies from them illegally and ensure to report such illegalities to the management.

He disclosed that new multiple payment channels have been provided by the company to enable customers to make convenient and seamless payments and purchase of tokens, adding that the new payment options were designed to offer all customers security, greater convenience, and choice.

He maintained that “By expanding our payment platforms, customers can now make payments and purchase tokens seamlessly by using scratch card vouchers, which are sold by vendors and agents across its networks; Quick teller which can be accessed on mobile devices and through internet banking on online banking portals.

“The other payment channels include Pawakad, a mobile app payment system which is managed by strategically located agents; Baxibox, commonly known as ‘Baba-Ijebu’; Point-of-Sales terminals as well as through Direct Bank Teller in any Zenith Bank branch.

“We are committed to providing our customers with the greatest level of customer service and introducing these multiple secure and convenient payment channels is yet another aspect of our service offering,” he stated.

Addressing the challenges Ofulue explained that with the expansion of the payment channels, the company is addressing the challenges of all category of customers as post-paid customer accounts are credited promptly, avoiding unplanned service interruptions while prepaid customer is provided with more convenient vending channels.

He, however, reminded customers to ensure they collect their receipts as it is the only proof of payment. He warned that customers who continued to make illegal payments to IE staff were not only doing so at their own risk but were also sabotaging the efforts of Ikeja Electric to improve service delivery across her network.

*Ediri Edjoh – Vanguard

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