Nigeria’s largest power distribution company, Ikeja Electric Plc has been conferred with the ISO 9001 and OHSAS 18001 international certifications in quality management and safety systems respectively.
This was made known at an event to commemorate the achievement which held at NECA House, Ikeja, Lagos, on Tuesday, November 21.
Speaking on the certification, the Chief Executive Officer, Ikeja Electric Plc, Mr. Anthony Youdeowei, explained that the company has become the first in the power sector in Nigeria to receive the highly-prized OHSAS 18001 certification.
He stated that the certification was an attestation to the company’s dedication and passion for sustainable safety culture and excellence.
Youdeowei added that with the ISO 9001 certification, the company also became the first electricity distribution company to set up Business Improvement Models with customer focus in Nigeria in line with international best practice.
He disclosed that the company was able to achieve the feat with various initiatives, including on safety compliance permit, Safety Code, reward system for safety compliance, top management commitment and involvement in safety activities, training of staff, and use of quality materials at all time in its daily operations especially the maintenance and replacement of obsolete electrical items in the system.
He noted that these initiatives, aside helping the company achieve the certifications, have also won it many health and safety awards.
Youdeowei said that as a responsible organisation, the safety standard and training is not limited to Ikeja Electric staff but to customers and other stakeholders, especially the Licensed Electrical Contractors Association of Nigeria who are certified to carry out installations of electrical items in various communities, especially the wiring of buildings, to ensure compliance with safety standard and also to assist in reminding customers of some basic guidelines that will help save lives at all time.
According to him, the company has partnered with many reputable companies to ensure adequate training for most workers in Ikeja Electric in ensuring ISO safety standard as it will assist to prevent accident during their daily operations.
The General Manager, Certification and Business Enhancement, SGS Nigeria, Mr, Peter Obiazu, whose company issued the certificate, said that Ikeja Electric was considered worthy of being certified after passing through a painstaking process supervised by his firm.
He said, “It did not come cheap or easy. In fact, for you to be certified by SGS, you’ll know it is not child’s play.
“We are the leading certification body in the world and I can confirm to you that Ikeja Electric went through all the processes to get this certification.”
Explanation what ISO and OHSAS certifications are and his company’s role in the process, he said: “We have said to the world that the management system of Ikeja Electric meets international standards for quality management and for health and safety management.
“ISO stands for International Organisation for Standardisation and they have given some standards used across the world.
“If you can meet the requirements, they issue the certificate. Our own is to come and check if you are meeting the requirements.
“We checked and we are confirming that Ikeja Electric did very well.”
However, he urged Ikeja Electric not to relent in its effort as the process for certification remains an ongoing process.
“When you do ISO and you celebrate the certificate, remember that this is not the end; this is just the beginning.
“Every year, we are going to visit your company for as long as you are certified.
“Auditors will be there to check whether what you are still doing is what we saw when we issued the certificate.
“Unfortunately, if we come and see that what we saw is not meeting international standard, we will withdraw the certificate.”
The Head, Health, Safety and Environment, Ikeja Electric Plc, Engr. Jamiu Badmos, said that collaborative effort between all departments in the organisation made the certification possible.
He assured that with the backing of the company’s management, the department would continue to work assiduously to ensure that the certificates are not withdrawn.
The Director General, Lagos State Safety Commission, Hon. Hakeem Dickson, expressed delight with the certification, stating that it had further confirmed the leadership position enjoyed by Lagos among the comity of states in Nigeria.
He reiterated the commission’s commitment to ensuring the highest levels of health and safety practice is maintained by companies operating in the state.
Dickson however warned against unsafe practices being perpetrated by some electricity workers in the state.
He urged Lagosians to report any worker found to be climbing electrical poles without the right personal protective equipment (PPE) to him for necessary action.