The New Times (Kigali)

27 November 2012

Rwanda: Prime Minister Launches Customer Care Campaign

The Prime Minister, Dr. Pierre Damien Habumuremyi, yesterday, launched a three-month campaign to boost service delivery in different government and private institutions.

He announced a taskforce that will be charged with monitoring and inspection of how services are offered to people.

The taskforce is headed by the Director General in the office of the Prime Minister Jean d'Amour Gatera who will be assisted by officials from Ministry of Public Service and Labour, Ministry of Local Government, Rwanda Development Board and Rwanda Governance Board.

In his report on the state of customer care in the country, the Prime Minister said the level of satisfaction in service sector is poor.

"This practically means there is a big problem with the way services are offered and we cant afford to continue like this. This is why we are launching a three months programme of monitoring and evaluation," said Habumuremyi.

The security agencies and the Rwanda Directorate General of Immigration and Emigration were recognised for topping the table among institutions that are offering the best services in the country.

In June this year, the Directorate General of Immigration and Emigration won United Nations Public Service Award (UNPSA), in recognition of good public service delivery.

Yesterday, the transport sector was singled out as one of the areas that are improving but still facing issues.

A recent scenario of how transport fares were hiked from Rwf 1700 to Rwf7000 for travellers from Musanze town to Kigali, due to the eastern DR Congo crisis was condemned as a poor service to the people.

Col (rtd) Ludovic Twahirwa Dodo the president of Rwanda Federation of Transport Cooperative (RFTC), explained "there is one driver who had inflated the fare, we learnt about it because people reported the case and we sanctioned the driver."

Within the local government, officials commended the development of citizen's charters indicating that regarding putting in place service standards, 92 Central Government institutions have Citizen charters while 35 others are yet to be developed.

Highlighting key areas of focus for the next three months, the Premier challenged hotels, travel agencies, tourism agencies, financial institutions, shops and supermarkets to develop mechanisms to improve customer care.

Habumuremyi pointed out the need to maintain the standards, saying that cabinet recently decided that travellers coming to Rwanda from African countries can get their visas at the airport upon arrival as part of efforts to hasten the process.

The Energy and Health Sectors were advised to streamline their services so that they are quicker and reliable while the Rwanda Social Security Board should put in place mechanisms that will ensure quick service delivery.

Several other institutions mainly from the central and local government and parastatals were also listed among sectors that have to up their services.

"Two weeks from now we want all companies and institutions that offer services to have, on their reception desks details of their services, the duration and requirement to get that service. The Taskforce will start work in the next two weeks and this is one of the items they will be looking at," said Habumuremyi.

The Minister in Charge of Cabinet affairs, Protais Musoni explained that the taskforce will base on the stipulated mechanism to award marks. "This will not compromise duties of the regulatory bodies," he said.

Denis Karera, the chairman of the Hoteliers' Association attributed the poor rating of the hospitality industry to lack of proper ways of managing the industry.

"Hotel systems do not have uniform standards. It's not like the security agency. We have an association but most of the hotels are not subscribed to it which is hard for me to regulate them," he lamented.

The event at the Officers' Mess in Kimihurura, Kigali, was attended by most of the officials in the public sector and business leaders from the private sector.

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