Kenya Power devolution to scatter about 1,000 staff in Nairobi

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What you need to know:

  • It will see better customer services as the company seeks to turn around from its financial constraints.
  • The plan has seen creation of regional managers in counties who will run the electricity business.
  • They will also account for sales revenues from each zone as profit centres.

Close to a thousand Kenya Power staff will be moved from Nairobi to other regions under a devolved structure meant to remove ‘idlers’ from the head offices, improve services and achieve efficiency.

The plan, which will see the utility firm operate in zones and regions is expected to drive power connection to areas without supply, collect debt and better customer services as the company seeks to turn around from its financial constraints.

Kenya Power Managing Director Bernard Ngugi said concentration of staff who are essentially supposed to be in the field has slowed some projects and created a supply gap that electricity cartels tried to fill, causing massive losses to the firm via illegal connections.

“We made a mistake when key people who are supposed to be in the field sat in the head office and left the business in the field to be run by other people. Crooks who learnt the trade from their engagement with us on contracts took advantage and stole power because the demand is always there. We have now decided to devolve our management. It has been part of our inefficiency and we want to make a human resource structure with a wider base and smaller apex,” Mr Ngugi told the Nation.

Regional managers

The plan has seen creation of regional managers in counties who will run the electricity business and account for sales revenues from each zone as profit centres. County bosses will also be required to meet revenue targets under a four-year contract to run the new ‘profit centres’ and without which they will not have terms renewed.

Power flow into every county will be monitored using boundary meters to detail how much energy was received by a particular region and how much was sold as the firm seeks to account for every unit traded.

In its pilot phase, Nairobi has been split into three since the bigger bulk of sales come from the county. The counties are then divided into zones who comprise technical and non-technical staff to run the business at the grassroots.

County units will be required to know their customers in the various zones to address their issues including delayed connections and power outages.

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