Merger of electric companies — is it time to evaluate?

Merger of electric companies — is it time to evaluate?

THE Saudi Electric Company was launched as a joint stock company with a capital of SR 33.75 billion on April 5, 2000 following a Cabinet decision.
The Cabinet ordered the merger of all electric companies in the central, eastern, western and southern regions and the 10 smaller companies working in the northern region in addition to electrical projects under the General Electric Corporation.
After the completion of the merger process the company followed gradually a style and method in restructuring and unifying its organizational structure to continue providing its services in a desired manner, whether we agree or not.
The company’s objective has been to offer outstanding service and because of that the company believes all subscribers deserve attention.
On the other hand, the company expects to provide a guaranteed power supply in a reliable manner and carrying out all its work with a high degree of efficiency and implementing all work in line with the highest degree of safety standards.
The authorities did their best to develop the Kingdom’s electricity sector.
The Shoura Council discussed the merger and formation of one company in detail.
Though there were differences in views the bill was passed and submitted to the Council of Ministers, which also passed it. Of course, they all had ideas on improving the sector.
The administration of the company was undertaken by officials who did their best to achieve its objective.
If we consider the geographical size of the Kingdom, which is larger than Western Europe, and evaluate the company’s merger operations after 13 years independently and compare it with the objective of the company’s establishment, will our review be positive or negative?
Someone may argue that the circumstances did not help the company and that the state refused to add to the citizens’ burden by hiking tariffs and that is why the company’s performance is not satisfactory.
Another argument is that the state has provided all sorts of support.
In my view, we have been putting up with occurrences of power-cuts in different places and that it is time to evaluate the company’s achievement.
The result of the evaluation should serve as the judgment and guidance to the future.
I believe that its existence as a single company killed the spirit of competition between the 15 companies existing before the merger.
It was possible for them to evaluate the capability of each one of them in terms of performance, service, and most importantly in terms of cost.
I conclude with a saying of Rabindranath Tagore: Failure is an expression for the sum total of experiences preceding success.

— Courtesy of Al-Eqtisadiah newspaper.

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