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Joël Nana Kontchou to the personnel “A new company is beginning to see the light of day”.

 Read the message of our GM to the staff during the  132nd International Labour Day ,  Mai 2018. 

 My dear team-mates,
Dear social partners,
Representatives of Eneo workers’ trade unions,

It was with great pleasure that I accepted the invitation to celebrate this year’s International Labour Day in the capital city. According to some of you, it is a big first to have the General Manager celebrating the 1st May ritual with colleagues and social partners.

I accepted this invitation because beyond the symbol it represents, it gives me the opportunity to directly discuss with you our 2018 priorities, your working conditions, your safety and operational performances.

I would like to thank you for the quality of the reception, warmth and commitment exhibited by our personnel during this day, from the parade where hundreds of our team-mates took part up to the meal we are sharing together. This translates the cohesion that must drive our actions.

I would like to congratulate our team-mates who proudly donned the colours of Eneo Cameroon during the parade.

This is an example of workers who are proud of belonging to a company that has taken up the challenge to profoundly transform itself so as to better play its role as the driving force of the electricity sector. They shared with the general public our entire commitment to speed up our transformation process.

Dear team-mates,

I listened with keen attention the speech of the representative of the group of workers’ trade unions. I took note of three main points in this speech:

  • Improvements you observed in the social climate of our company;
  • Aspects of improvement in the working conditions that are dear to you;
  • Your call for a change of behavior of your comrades and workers at Eneo.

I am going to examine each of these points, but allow me to begin with the last point.

Mister Representative of Eneo workers’ trade unions, you rightly condemned the tendency some of us have to deviate from governance standards and rules in the management of their daily operations. These colleagues still live by the culture according to which “the goat eats where it is tied.” Your denunciation is in line with the ethical approach to which we have been giving impetus for 4 years now in a bid to make our company a model of governance.

You have certainly observed that the foundations of this transformation lever were firmly laid down with the rolling out of our code of ethics and the increase in the number of training programs. Despite all the awareness campaigns carried out, allegations of fraud and corruption have not abated. 72 allegations were recorded in the first quarter against 63 for the same period in 2017. That is much!

  • Trafficking of fuel and wood poles;
  • Misappropriation of funds;
  • Swindling of customers;
  • Maintenance of various fraud networks;
  • Concealing the electrocution of a subcontractor;

The situations are numerous and diverse.

The people who indulge in this kind of behavior must know that the time for education is over. We are resolutely moving to the sanction phase. Controls will be reinforced and sanctions meted out without qualms, including against those senior management staff who will not lead by good example. The time has come when the snake ends up biting the goat where it is tied.

Our success is at stake here.

With regard to safety, our performances were still below expectation at the beginning of this year. We recorded on our network fatalities and injuries that we could have avoided. Let’s say this clearly and energetically: there should be no justification for putting lives in danger.

An analysis of the cases recorded shows that 80% of industrial accidents are due to poor work preparation and the fact that workers are not steeped in the safety culture.

By calling for a back to basics in mid-2017, we had in mind two approaches: proactivity and reactivity.

At the proactive level, we have reinstituted:

  • The systematic inspection of distribution lines;
  • The identification and replacement of poles in poor conditions;
  • Targeted and urgent actions in zones considered as risky.

At the reactive level, we constantly urge each worker to put himself/herself in the place of families of victims in case of alert or accident.

These measures are accompanied by some initiatives, including setting up of fault-clearance teams, increasing technical bases and the number of electricians, obliging leaders to carry out worksite visits, among others.

We have also stepped up awareness and training on the respect of safety procedures and instructions.

It is inconceivable under these conditions that our safety performance continues to decline. As I said, behavioral factors are overwhelming.

Just like governance, we are raising the priority level in safety, and after an intensive phase of awareness, we will move to the sanctions phase in case of violations. All cases of non-compliance will be reported and consolidated.

The sanctions matrix that we have just adopted will be rigorously applied. Once again, Top Management will not be exempted.

The company will no longer accept to be penalized because of unacceptable safety behaviors.

On this ground, we have a lot to learn, fortunately, from some of our regions.

Best practices should be replicated wherever possible: The Njangui line visits in the West and North-West Region; in Yaounde, the training of employees of partner companies, the acceleration of pre-emptive and awareness actions in risky areas and those where our line corridors are occupied, for example.

More than the fear of sanctions, it is imperative that we strengthen the culture of the fear of electrocution; and reinforce safety reflexes among us and in the communities we serve.

As for the company, it will continue to take all the operational measures that can help improve our safety performance.

Regarding the issue of wood poles, we can already be proud that our joint efforts since 2015 have helped to reduce the number of pole-related incidents by 15%. We must continue. That's why we have taken some actions in recent days, including:

  • Temporary suspension of the use of poles not produced by our unit in Bafoussam, while waiting to have more clarity on what is going on;
  • The decision to get directly involved, end-to-end, in the process of network constructions initiated by State entities, with the aim to assisting the various stakeholders to respect technical standards.

Let us all get personally involved in the improvement of our safety performance.

Dear team-mates,

Among our three priorities for 2018, in addition to safety and governance, there are distribution efficiency and cash collection. At the end of the first quarter, our scorecard shows a company that is courageously trying to raise its head out of the water.

Distribution efficiency remained a little over 70% while cash collection increased by 4.5%. The indicators are overall yellow, which is a sign of hope that the momentum is on. We are on the right track; a new company is beginning to see the light of day.

In accordance with the instructions of the Board of Directors, we have modified our organization in order to achieve our operational and financial goals.

In this light, the ongoing redeployment of staff in support functions and in our regions is proof of our ambition to make Eneo a digital and humane company.

In order to develop the commitment and participation of everyone in the corporate life, we strengthened a managerial culture of trust and responsibility to give employees more resources and independence when dealing with customers. We are counting on people who are open-minded, familiar with new technologies, able to question the status quo and who have a natural ability to lead. We are counting on our young people and our women.

In this regard:

  • We have made available to the regions a batch of young engineers to strengthen our service improvement operations;
  • We have recruited 33 persons since the beginning of the year, with a focus on commercial where we face the challenge of improving collection, billing and customer satisfaction;
  • We have awarded 64 promotions to deserving employees at the end of the first quarter. Today, the company has 5 female Deputy Directors. We look forward to the emergence of Eneo's first female director;
  • We promoted several young talents at various levels of responsibility;
  • We have appointed a third of women as Head of Division in Douala and Yaounde, and for the first time in our company, two young women have been appointed to the sensitive and strategic position of Head of Technical Division.

Dear colleagues, we must acknowledge that small significant steps are being taken to improve our operational and financial performances. We can, and we should do better! The Regions must work in symbiosis and share best practices in these areas.

Share experiences, be creative, take initiatives! For example, how can we come up with an approach to coach our partners and harmonize their operations, to help them perform better meter reading and optimize disconnections and reconnections?

Dear team-mates and Trade Unions,

I am happy to say that thanks to the continuous discussions between Staff Representatives and Management, we have successfully closed the 5% share transfer to staff over the last 12 months. This chapter is closed, and employees now have a representative on the Board of Directors. Eneo belongs to us! We need to fight harder than before to boost it, protect and cherish it like a farmer would care for his farms.

The permanent consultation framework will endeavor to secure this success by finalizing the process with the implementation of the units in charge of managing the GIC-P-Eneo.

Let me continue dear team-mates by presenting the events that marked the beginning of this year:

With regard to supply and demand balance:

In both the South Interconnected Grid and North Interconnected Grid, despite the growth in demand and non-availability of some of the facilities expected, notably the Memve'ele power plant, we have been able to ensure a balance between supply and demand. A number of factors contributed to these results:

  • The agreement with KPDC to continue the power supply of the Kribi Gas-fired power plant;
  • The partial write-off of ALUCAM;
  • The activation of thermal sources amounting to an additional CFAF 3 billion or more per month;

In the East Region, an increase in the capacity of the Bertoua power plant from 7 to 12.4 MW will significantly improve the current poor service supply by the end of June.

With regard to service quality, indicators show significant improvement compared to the previous year. At the close of the first quarter, we recorded a 6.5% drop in unserved energy, a drop in the average power outage duration by 29% and in the average outage frequency by 5%.

Other major achievements are:

  • The construction and inauguration of two reference agencies in Kribi and Bepanda;
  • The construction of the first solar and hybrid plant in Djoum. This plant is part of the implementation of a solar strategy that will be accelerated with the installation of 25 MW in the Northern Region in 2018;
  • The improvement of the voltage in the town of Kumba.

These achievements materialize the progress driven by our ambition to radically transform Eneo. An ambition pushed through by the Think Big Start Small approach, the consolidation of our code of ethics, cultural and technological transformations.

We cannot afford to break this momentum.

I will conclude by congratulating all the teams that contributed to these performances by rigorously ensuring the maintenance of all the facilities. I can cite notably the teams of the Transmission Department, who are celebrating this Day with us for the last time.

Actually, the Concession Agreement of SONATREL was signed last Friday.

Pursuant to the agreements signed at the end of last year with the different stakeholders, employees working in this Department will in the days ahead be transferred to this public institution in charge of managing the transmission systems.

Henceforth, we will live in the same house but in separate rooms. We wish all of them the very best. At the level of Eneo, this is an excellent opportunity to work even further with all the actors to ensure the stability of the electricity sector in our country.

In conclusion, I want to acknowledge the good work done by the Yaounde Region. During the 2018 first quarter, their operational performances were rather remarkable. There is more room for improvement, and I hope to come back here in the coming months, to celebrate the results that Eneo expects from you.

Let this Labour Day be a time for each and every one of us to take stock of our contribution to the change that is ongoing, and envisage the best for our company.

As I already said: Eneo is back!
Thank you.


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