Addis Ababa- Ministry of communications and Information Technology announced here today it will commence a one-window electronic billing system as of Feb. 2013. The service called ‘Lehulu’ (loosely translated ‘for all’) will enable customers to make their electric, water and landline telephone bill payments at a single paying centre.
The ministry, in collaboration with Kifiya Financial Technology Plc., an Ethiopian Private Technology Company, has finalized preparations to provide the service in 31 different centres with 10 more additional centres to follow.
When fully implemented the service will replace the existing billing systems provided by the three service providers, Ethiopian Electric cooperation, Ethio Telecom and Water and Sewerage Authority at different billing centres.
The initiative is a three and half years project that the Ministry has outsourced to Kifiya Financial Technology Plc, which made an investment of close to 102 million Birr. The company hopes to recover its cost within the coming three and half years from commission payments the three authorities will be paying for each transaction that the company conducts on their behalf.
Speaking at the event, Derbretsion Gebermichael, Minister of Information Technology and Deputy Prime Minister said the new electronic paying system is part of the government’s plans of improving the service provision with the assistance of information technologies.
“customers, besides getting the service at a single centre, will be able to get the services on extra hours at any centre they are close to; this will save their administration costs,” said Debretsion.
In order to minimize the running cost, the centres will be opened at government owned houses while the three government authorities will play a monitoring and evaluating role.
Currently there are around 1.1 million bill paying customers under the three authorities throughout the country. It is expected that the service will soon be extended to regional cities such as Adama, Hawassa, Mekele and Bahirdar.