Friday, April 13, 2012

NAWEC to dismiss some staff?


Some staff members of the National Water and Electricity Company might have their services terminated if the recommendation of an independent consultant brought in to assess the company’s fiscal discipline is approved.

The National Water and Electricity Company Limited has been asked to make redundant some 45 members of its staff following a staff audit of the company by “an independent consultant” to ascertain whether the financial-deficient state-owned company is overstaffed.

As part of the recommendations at the end of the assessment, the consultant says the public utilities provider should make redundant 45 staff, as it was discovered that the services of these people are “obsolete” and “can be outsourced” to save the heavily-indebted company some cost associated with salaries to retain much needed revenue.
 
To find out whether Nawec will heed the recommendation of the consultant and make redundant the 45 staff, when and which areas they are working within the Nawec units, Gambia News Online spoke with Nani Juwara, commercial director of the company, who said the report is an internal one and the recommendation is yet to be effected, hence prefers not to make any comment on it.


However, during the recent public hearing held on 17 March at the Father Farrell at Westfield, when NAWEC was trying to get the public to understand the rationale behind its proposed tariff increment, Mr Juwara said:  “Our staff have always remained an issue of concern. “Some say we are overstaffed.”  He however refuted this claim arguing: “If anything, we need more staff.  Nawec is not overstaffed.”

“If you look at the turnover of NAWEC, which is D1.3 billion, only 8% of that goes to staff salary,” Mr Juwara revealed. 

According to the managing director of the company, Ebrima Sanyang, Nawec’s labour force, after the staff audit, presently stand at about 1,600 employees. The recommendation from this exercise, however, says the company has to make redundant some forty-five employees. 

“The impact of that is just 0.09% of Nawec’s turnover,” Mr Sanyang said, adding that even the redundancy cannot save adequate revenue to remedy the current financial predicament of the company, owing to the rising cost of inputs, such as fuel and lubricants, at the world market.

Senior Nawec officials state that 90% of Nawec’s expenditure goes to fuel, lubricants and spare parts, the prices of which continue to rise at the international market, which Nawec has no control over. 

Mr Juwara again: “These are beyond our control, and the staff cost – salaries and allowance – is just about 8% of the company’s turnout. This is to indicate that the major expenses of the company are not on staff but on fuel, lubricants, and spare parts the prices of which are not within our control.”

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