By Tabora Bojang
The National Water and Electricity Company is set to launch its new billing system to promote “efficiency and transparency” in its service delivery throughout The Gambia.
The new IMS platform will go live by Monday October 25th to be preceded by a two-day shut down period starting this Saturday, during which cashpower and other vending services will be halted.
Speaking at a press conference yesterday, Nawec senior ICT manager Ebrima Sawaneh said the new billing system will decentralise Nawec’s overall service provision and avail services and opportunities to its customers that were previously available only at the Nawec headquarters.
He explained that the two-day shut down will only restrict cashpower purchases and not the availability of electricity.
“This will allow us to migrate the current data to the new system and therefore all vending will stop. Going forward, we will now move on decentralising our services to the various branches. Most of the activities that were only available at the headquarters will now be available at all nearest branches.”
“Going forward, they [third parties] will charge you for the sale of the token and the transaction fee will be provided on the receipt,” he added.
He further disclosed that Nawec is discussing with over 10 third parties interested in taking part in the vending, but he declined to give any names, saying there is a process that they are going through after which names will be published.
The senior ICT manager however stated that the new system will not apply to customers using meters with seven digits because they are “old metre models which the new system does not accept.”
“Those metres which are seven digits long will not be migrated into the new system. Those are the old metre models and Nawec has identified them and we have started the process of changing all of them,” Sawaneh explained.
Asked why these meters were not all changed before the introduction of the new system, he said: “Ideally, that is what Nawec wants to do. We want to make sure we change the meter before we will bring the system but it was delayed.”
“We are now automating our manual systems. Our transmission and distribution system and financial systems are now going to be integrated into the commercial system. Calls made to our 1669 call centre will be recorded into an incident management system and it will be tracked and followed and feedback will be provided. There will also be a business intelligence system that will track the demography of queries. This is to improve our overall productivity, efficiency and transparency.”