By Nseobong Okon-Ekong
In an attempt to promote openness and transparency, to generate an environment of trust and integrity, by which suspected wrongdoing can be reported in order to correct related issues and reduce electricity theft, the management of Kano Electricity Distribution Company (KEDCO) has initiated a whistle blowing policy which will enable KEDCO to obtain early warning signals on what may be wrong in the organization especially in cases where it would be difficult to identify immediately.
The whistleblowing policy is designed to encourage the report of an employee or customer involved in suspected misconduct, illegal acts, electricity theft, fraud, bribery or failure to act within the limitations or standards of KEDCO.
The whistle blower can be an employee, a customer, a contractor, a vendor or any stakeholder of the organization who voluntarily provides information or discloses any misconduct, via phone call, face to face or in writing via a letter/SMS/email/whatsapp.
The whistleblowing policy is open and applicable to all KEDCO employees, customers and other stakeholders.
The expected benefits of this policy include: making employees conscious of wrongdoing, to remove corruption and crimes from the organization, make employees more responsible and gives them authority to raise their concerns, reduce risks, improvement of Internal Audit skills, understand consequences of committing offences, improve company brand image and customer confidence in the management, enhance transparency and accountability, reduce energy theft and to reduce revenue leakages.
A statement by Ibrahim Sani Shawai,
Head, Corporate Communications Unit of KEDCO, the identity of whistle blowers will remain anonymous, unless the whistle blower chooses to disclose their identity.
Upon receipt of the infoNtion, the concerned authority shall send an investigation request to the Head of Internal Audit.
Incentive shall be monetary and maybe paid in cash to maintain anonymity, alternative payment methods may be used if the amount is higher than N100,000. The types of payment incentive amount compromised Employee Integrity NGN 20,000; energy theft- PPM- Staff 2.5% of recovered amount; energy theft- PPM-Non-Staff 5% of recovered amount; energy theft- MD Customers- Staff 2.5% of recovered amount energy theft- MD Customers- Non-Staff 5% of recovered amount.
The management, however, warned that false/malicious claims; if it is proven that the whistle blower intentionally reported false or misleading information, will be escalated for necessary disciplinary action, in the case of employees. Where a non-employee is involved, the matter will be handled in accordance with the laws of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.