« Our bill of health is improving », JNK, May 1, 2017
« I am very comfortable to announce how confident I am about the future of our company », the Coach proudly indicated.
My dear teammates,
Dear social partners,
Representatives of Eneo Workers’ Trade Unions,
It is a pleasure to preside at the 3rd ceremony marking the celebration of the Labour Day in our company.
First of all, I would like to thank all our Ambassadors who took part in the workers’ march past this morning.
I listened very carefully to the speech from the group of staff representatives.
Without taking much of the precious time that we have to share this afternoon, I would like all of us to reflect on the following : Among us, should we, today at Eneo, make an issue out of the 1st May fabric?
Next year, I am expecting good contributions from the most talented amongst us.
I am not going to dwell on certain inaccuracies that I heard here, but I would like to hail the concluding part of your speech. It is a conclusion that is in line with our commitment to serve reliable and quality energy to our fellow citizens.
And, as you said, on quote, “…we must serve our customers irrespective of affronts and pitfalls.”
This is a commitment that we can honour only if we respect our values.
I would like to recall that the year 2017 is based on cohesion i.e., working as a team and in all honesty without looking for excuses.
Two years ago, we were like a patient in intensive care. Today, Eneo is at the rehabilitation phase.
I am glad to note that our efforts were not in vain since our company is posting a better bill of health.
At the end of the first quarter of this year, our performance indicators are witness to this bill of health that is improving.
At the level of safety, we completed, for the first time, the quarter without recording public fatalities. We must continue to sensitize communities on electrical energy risks. We must not relent on these efforts.
Our service quality is improving. We are recording a drop in unserved energy compared to last year. Admittedly, we continue to suffer from the ageing of our distribution facilities and hydrology in the North Interconnected Grid is still a cause for concern. We are generating and distributing electricity in a satisfactory quantity despite a higher increase in demand. We can take up the bet that the word load shedding will end up disappearing from our vocabulary.
The year began on a timid note but thanks to courageous initiatives, our commercial performances have begun to improve.
The first results were visible since the end of March. We are recording less anomalies and our outstanding debts are dropping by the week.
I would like to hail the mobilization of the Commercial Department and regions that has already made it possible to recover almost CFAF 4 billion that were in the pockets of our customers. I am thinking aloud why we left so much money in the pockets of our customers whereas we have so much need.
We obtained this result by prompting 2 levers : control of anomalies and follow-up of major outstanding debts. It is inadmissible that we generate so much anomalies on the bills of our customers. It is inadmissible that we leave so much money in the pockets of our customers.
In view of this situation, we sat down and together analyzed our work processes; we thus decided to change our manner of doing things.
That is how we must respond to our problems. The same approach has just been adopted for distribution problems. And we will reverse the current trend. The problems are known and we are working on them.
I am pleased with the progress we have made on connections; with deadlines of 4 days on average in cities like Kribi and Douala, compared to 16 days in the past.
I am very comfortable to announce how confident I am about the future of our company. I begin to see the clouds dissipate. With no increase in tariffs, no donor funding and more than 30 billion of outstanding bills, we were able to repay our debt and ensure the smooth running of our company.
On the subject that is most important to me, that is human resources, I would like to share with you some key points:
• Over the past 2 years, we have recruited more than 500 young people, including 90 engineers and senior commercial staff, which is by far the highest number in the history of our company.
• At the same time, we have reduced the average age of our company's employees from 45 to 43 years.
• We recorded 1 800 staff promotions
• All employees, and I insist all Eneo employees have received at least a wage increase during this same period.
• A budget was allocated to the regions to directly and personally improve their working conditions by themselves. The very encouraging results has prompted us to reflect on the renewal of this initiative.
• Technical and leadership trainings have resumed.
The modernization and transformation of our company is underway
The modernization and transformation of our company is underway. I would like to especially mention the following initiatives: the prepaid meters, the E-agency, MyEasylight, the TIMS project, the implementation of Key Account managers, the introduction of smart meters, the programme to secure access to our sites. This last programme will align us up to international standards. The dematerialization of clocking-in and management of presence in the workplace is a way to reduce subjectivity and human errors. It is a measure to secure our property and people. We all know about the high sensitivity of our facilities.
Can a company that is performing badly afford so much social and technological progress?
Dear Workers, Dear Teammates,
I am not saying that everything is already fine and that we can now rest on our laurels.
I am simply saying that we can be proud of what we have achieved together.
That said, why this feeling of anxiety in your statements dear social partners?
Why this pessimism at a time when each and every one of us is called upon to convey to our stakeholders a message of the rebirth of our company?
A cash flow problem is not a crisis
Our company is experiencing a tight cash flow situation simply because we have financed everything from our own funds. Pending the extension of the concession that would allow us to access the long-term financing, it is the money that you collect at our agencies that supports all our operations today. A cash flow problem is not a crisis. It is like an occasional fever caused by high temperature of the human body.
Our discussions with the government resulted in the most efficient way in which the State could pay its electricity bills.
Still with the government, discussions on the extension of the concession are at their final stage and we can already see the end of the tunnel. It is more than just hope.
Obviously, pending the coming into fruition of these actions, we were compelled to take measures to rigorously control the cash available. We had announced a series of measures and we are proud to see that they have helped us to sail through the storm.
The transfer of 5% shares to employees. Eneo must be the first local company to successfully implement such a major operation
It is with this same faith, this same hope and this same trust that I would like to talk about an operation that is so dear to me: the transfer of 5% shares to employees. Eneo must be the first local company to successfully implement such a major operation.
When we see how our company is about improving at the financial level…
When we make projections vis-a-vis the future of our company, I am convinced that those who have invested in the 5%, will at least end-up tripling their investment. I therefore urge you all to take out shares.
The 5% shares transfer scheme was implemented in agreement with the employee trade unions. Each employee must take advantage of this unique opportunity to complement their pension on retirement. We are in its final phase and hope to close the operation by the end of May 2017.
I would like to seize this opportunity to reassure doubting colleagues. You can take a commitment !!!
Collective bargaining agreement
My dear teammates
Dear social partners
The issues you have raised - a thirteenth month salary, bridging the salary gaps, health coverage and the collective bargaining agreement – can be summed up, from my point of view, into a single point: improvement of the working conditions of employees.
Looking at the improvements I mentioned earlier, can someone truly say that no progress has been in these areas over the past three years?
Personally, if the company fares well, my priority will always be the improvement of the working conditions of all teammates. Concerning the collective bargaining agreement, I can assure you that we are going to re-open discussions in the months ahead.
I therefore urge staff representatives to continue our collaboration in all transparency in order to build an environment that guarantees the well-being and productivity that is the dream of Eneo employees.
To all of you, I hereby reiterate my call: Let’s be proud to be Eneo!
I wish you all a Happy Labour Day!!!