CHAPTER ONEINTRODUCTION1.1 Background of the StudyThe state of infrastructure in many developing countries tends to be poor and inadequate to meetthe rising demand. This reveals the constraintsthat governments in developing countries and especially in Sub-Saharan Africa (SSA), face in terms of scarcity of funds, corruption,poor planning and project formulation,as well as inefficient capacities.To avoid these problems government trying to do in partnership with non –government organizations.
This type of partnershipshasmany types, based on the exact allocationof risks and responsibilities (Thomsen,2005).As a strategy that the EthiopianGovernment pursuedduring the FirstGrowth andTransformation Plan (GTP I) for the Sustainable Development and Poverty Reduction Program(SDPRP) was Enhancing expansionand quality of infrastructure development.This strategy also emphasizes on Second Growth and Transformation Plan (GTP II) as build the capacity of the domestic construction industry, bridge critical infrastructure gaps with particular focus on ensuring quality provision of infrastructure services. Expansion of infrastructure development such as road, railway, dry port, air transport, energy, telecommunication, water and irrigation schemes whichresulted in attracting investment, creating market opportunities, enhance competitiveness and boost regional economic integration willhave a special considerationin GTP II (Desie, 2016)The Ministry of Communications and Information Technology (MCIT) initiativesprograms in Ethiopia, Unified Billing System is a facility for payments of utility bills at one-stop shop electronically. The system will provide unified single payment window to customer, manage thebilling cycle and service center operation electronically, provideof payment collection forcustomer’s convenience (any place, unified) and provide an electronic service to citizens/customers. The system also integrated government agencies (Ethiopian Electric Utility, Addis Ababa Water and Sewerage Authority, Ethio Telecom, Ethiopian Broadcasting Corporation andTRANSPORTAUTHORITY) throughintegrated system to attain quality service.In Public Private Partnership (PPP) with the Ethiopian Ministry of Communication andInformation Technology launched e-Service Centers knownas”Lehulu” in AddisAbaba in February 2013.
The Amharic word “Lehulu” implies a dual meaning, “for everyone” and “for all services.” Thecenters are based on a “Build,Own, Operate, and Transfer” model to deliver bill payment services for five utilities – water, electricity, telephone, annual TV subscriptionand traffic penalty – in anyone of the new locations of Addis Ababa . The main objective of this study is to assess the effectof Unified Billing System on customer satisfaction service in four Lehulu Centers that provided by Kifiya Financial Technology Plc.
This study contributes to customersatisfaction literature byproviding empirical evidence that increase the body of knowledge in understanding the factors that influence the quality service. Furthermore, the study used to understand factors determining theservice quality of UBS. Statement of the ProblemAccording to Stephen, Kenneth & Brain (1999), government have a responsibility to design thedelivery of government services based on the needs of citizens. Citizens want and gave a priority in government services that are easy to find and access. Government must take citizen-centeredapproach to service delivery. Citizens want government services that are as accessible, convenient andseamless as possible. One way of achieving this is through single-window service delivery. – The essence of the single-windowapproach is the bringing together of government services, or information about them, in order to reduce the amount of time and effort citizens must expend to find and obtain the services they need.
While single-window service is only one of several approaches to improving service to citizens, it has become an increasingly important one. (Stephen, Kenneth& Brain, 1999).Mostly shortage of public funds in most developing countries leads to increasing participation of private sectors, but private sectors are not commonlyvolunteer to invest financially on infrastructureprojects in many parts of the world. To increase thequality of projects, decreaserisks and sustain the profitability the best solution is motivating Public-Private Partnerships (PPP) especially in utilities.Satisfying customers is the first major missionand purpose of any business organization.
It is whencustomers are satisfied that the organizations achieve higher sales, profit and market share and vice versa. Customer satisfaction also leads organizations to gain loyalty and achieve the desired objectives. Therefore, it is essential for organizations to satisfy their customers promptly so that they can achieve what they plan. Utility agencies as a business organization shouldprovide a great care for its customers’ to attract, retainandgain their loyalty.Utility companies are not satisfying their customers enough due to many factors in which usingtraditional technologiesamong them. Levesque and McDougall (1996)have revealed and reinforced that poor customer experience as a result of poor service quality leads to poor customer satisfaction and this results decreasing in the willingness torecommend the service. Customers of the utility agencies have not been satisfying with the service rendered by the agency.
This is due topoor service quality of the agency that resultsfromabsence of new and improved technologies. Please explain about the previous service experienceMinistry of Communication andInformation Technology, Electronic Services Initiative i.e., ‘Lehulu’ unifiedbilling system, has taken up the challenge of bringing about the necessarychanges to provide a better quality of service to citizens. It has undertaken anumber of e-Government assignments to avail government services online andimprove the access to the general public.
The researcherwants to examine thecontribution of newly introduced Unified BillingSystem on customer’s satisfactionof Bair Dar Lehulu Centers ……………… RESEARCH HYPOTHESISAcceptanceand the rejection of hypothesis show the significance of the study. Thefollowing are hypothesis of the study. H1:Reliability has positively significant effect on customer satisfaction H2:Responsiveness has positively significant effect on customer satisfactionH3:Assurance has positively significant effect on customer satisfactionH4:Tangibility has positively significant effect on customer satisfactionH5:Empathy has positively significant effecton customer satisfactionOBJECTIVE OF THE STUDYGeneralObjectiveThe general objective is to evaluatethe effect of Unified Billing System on customer satisfaction in Bahir Dar LehuluCenters. Specific Objectives The specific objectivesof the study are as follows:1.
To identify the influence of reliability oncustomer satisfaction2. To examine the influence of assurance oncustomer satisfaction3. To evaluate the influence of responsivenesson customer satisfaction4. To distinguish the influence of empathy on customer satisfaction5. To know the influenceof tangibility on customer satisfactionLimitation of the StudyEventhough wide ranges of factors affecting customer satisfaction are expect to bestudy, theconstraint of this study has only undertaking to investigate the effect of UnifiedBilling System on Customer satisfaction in Bahir Dar Lehulu Centers.Additionally, there may be information concealing or negligence of therespondents during filling of the questionnaire.
The limited number of domesticstudies on the area and absence of well organized and documented information inKifiya will also be the other limitation of study.1.2 Significant of the studyThe outcomes and resultsof this research will have potential value to share experience, particularly stakeholders to understand the challenges and opportunities related with adoptionof new technology and its advantages in providing service to their customers. In addition,this study expected to help other researchers who will be interested to conduct further study regarding theissue under investigated by providing useful information.Finally based on thefactors found to be influencing stakeholders ? Integrated Electronic Payment System”, the study may providerecommendations for public service delivering sector about changes needed to accelerate adoptionof the system to deliver service tocustomers through technologicalinnovation.1.
3 Organization of the StudyThisstudy contains five chapters in which each will be discussed in depth later.Chapter one is about preparing the whole research by considering the variousimportant aspects such as Back ground of study, problem of statement, anillustration of the objectives of the study, scope of the study, significanceof the study and limitation of the study. Chapter Two consists of review ofrelated literatures and researches related to the problem being investigated.The methodology and procedure for the study will present in Chapter Three. Theresults of the study analysis and findings will present in Chapter Four. Thefinal chapter has a summary of the study, conclusions and recommendations forfurther research.