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NAWEC partners with Gamcel to launch Scratch Power

Dec 18, 2013, 10:11 AM | Article By: Cherno Omar Bobb

National Water and Electronic Company (NAWEC), in partnership with Gamcel, the National GSM operator, on 12 December 2013 launched Scratch Power at a ceremony held at the NAWEC Head Office Conference room.

Speaking at the launching, Madam Ramou Nyass Hydara, deputy general manager of Gamcel, highly applauded the partnership.

The partnership is not just one where only NAWEC and Gamtel/Gamcel equally benefits, but also one that gives the people of The Gambia less worry of being in the dark when their credit runs out, she said.

She added that it gives customers the freedom, the convenience and assurance that power can always be available when their cash powers run out and sales outlets closed.

There is scratch power which she believes will enhance the reliability and efficiency of cash power service delivery for the customers.

According to her, the two institutions have been collaborating since their inceptions, adding that they have worked together in many fronts in sharing the road corridor where their individual infrastructures run in parallel.

“This new venture is no different as we together bring comfort to our own people, the customers, once again,” she said.

“Gamcel is very pleased to be part of this great innovation by NAWEC and assures the NAWEC management team of our continued support and collaboration in any venture that would add value for the two institutions, the customers, the government and the entire Gambian population,” she added.

Ansumana Sanneh, director of economic and finance at PURA who represented the director general of PURA, described the launching as yet another milestone in the development of the electricity sector in the country.

“Third party vending is a new initiative that emerged from early 2013 when the private sector showed interest in partnering with NAWEC to broaden electricity vending opportunities so as to increase access,” he added.

“Currently there are two basic models being implemented: the first is basically an extension of NAWEC consumer branches and doesn’t involve any new lincence applications to the software owners, Examples include partnerships with Trust Bank and Elton Oil Ltd,” he said.

“The second involves companies applying for licence to use their own software or platforms to integrate with the NAWEC billing and vending system remotely. Technical compatibility and licensing have to be obtained from the software vendor Landis and Gyr. GTB proposal and QPOWER belong to this group.”

According to him, irrespective of which model is implemented, PURA is involved because consumer protection responsibilities of licensed operators must be inherited by these third party vendors.

Rachel Keita, acting-human resource and administrative director of NAWEC, reminded the gathering that NAWEC is continuously strategizing to devise optimal ways to bring electricity services to the doorsteps of all consumers.

“As a result this arrangement to partner with Gamtel/Gamcel will allow us ride on the Gamcel platform to vend cash power using scratch cards,” Mrs Keita added, saying: this will accord customers the option of buying electricity by SMS using the cell phones.

Initially the cards are available at all NAWEC outlets and will be made available at all GAMCEL customer care outlets too, she noted, adding that the cards are in the following denominations: D50, D100, D500.

In his launching statement, Ebrima Sanyang, NAWEC managing director, said the service will have positive impacts on both companies and the citizens, which was why Government approved it.

Mr Sanyang thanked both teams from both companies for the commitment and dedication during the process of the partnership and work, adding that successful tests have been carried out by the technicians.

He described the Scratch Power launching as a landmark achievement for both companies, saying they should not disappoint customers.

“Remember you should live up to expectations,” he told Gamcel while challenging them not to allow the scratch cards to run out.

During the launching, Ebrima Sawaneh made a demonstration of how the service works.