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COVID-19: Darkness looms as Ikeja Electric closes offices to safeguard customers, staff

Electricity consumers in Lagos and environs may be in for a hard time as the Ikeja Electric has announced that no physical transaction of business would take place across its offices in its franchise network for the next one week.

This partial closure, the firm said, was in line with ongoing efforts nationwide to prevent further spread of the Coronavirus, otherwise called COVID-19 and protect customers and staff of the Company.

The DisCo said the partial closure, which begins on March 24, 2020, was part of precautionary measures that have become necessary in order to safeguard the health of customers and staff by limiting their exposure to COVID-19.

The spread of the virus, according to World Health Organisation, is believed to be mainly through person-to-person contact, which enables respiratory droplets from infected individuals who exhibit or later show symptoms such as coughing, sneezing, breathing difficulty, fever, etc to be transmitted to other persons.

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Meanwhile, the Company has reassured customers that services including supply of electricity to customers, fault clearing, online channels for purchase of energy credits and payment of bills are unaffected by the temporary closure.

Customers can continue to make enquiries or complaints to its Customers Care Team via email, live chat or phone calls.

The acting Chief Executive Officer of Ikeja Electric, Folake Soetan, noted that the safety and health of employees and members of the public is a priority to the organisation.

Therefore, Soetan said necessary preventive measures have been taken to avoid possible contact and spread of the virus.

According to her: “In line with our Customer First, Technology Now policy, all staff carrying out essential services will continue to deliver services in line with globally accepted safety and health requirements while staff carrying out non-essential services will hereby rely on our remote working channels throughout this period.

“As a responsible organisation, we hold our customers and staff in high esteem. So, their wellbeing and safety must be prioritised under the circumstance confronting our country and the entire world. The ongoing efforts to control the further spread of the COVID-19 virus is in line with efforts of governments globally to contain the virus.

“At this point, we all need to carefully observe precautionary measures and other safety protocols stipulated by government agencies and health organisations that will protect ourselves and loved ones from the virus. These involve, but not limited to, observing high hygiene by washing our hands often, using sanitizers where soap and water are not available, ensuring social distancing, avoiding handshakes and gatherings, as well as promptly contacting government agencies in the event of close persons displaying symptoms of the virus.

“Earlier in the month, we had set up specific control measures across our offices to ensure customers and staff are protected from possible exposure to the virus by providing sanitizers at the entrances and using hand-held infra-red thermometers to screen customers/visitors and staff. We are keenly following developments across the country and the advice of our government and health institutions as part of concerted efforts to safeguard everyone and to make sure our workplaces remain safe.”

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The DisCo noted that throughout this period, customer experience will not be impacted as it continues to deploy technology to provide seamless services and improved customer experience.

Customers can access their bills using the IE ebilling service, which is available via eservices.ikejaelectric.com or and the IE Mobile app, which can be downloaded on the Android Play Store.

By the adoption of this technology, the company has greatly reduced interaction between customers and employees as far as bill distribution and collection matters are concerned.

Customers can also make use of all available online channels to get their required services, including making enquiries or complaints, payments of bills or recharge of prepaid meters and escalation of faults.

For complaints or enquiries, customers are advised to contact the Customer Care via: customercare@ikejaelectric.com or 01-7000250, 09087940825.

Other transactions can be done via quick teller, internet banking, mobile App banking, USSD *565*6# and Ikeja Electric website: www.ikejaelectric.com.

According to the DisCo, technical operations such as fault clearing will continue, hence all the field staff must continue to ensure that they are completely kitted for their daily operations.