The Director General, Bureau of Public Enterprises, BPE, Mr. Benjamin Dikki, said the process of payment of severance benefits to all Power Holding Company of Nigeria, PHCN, workers would commence next week.

Dikki said individual pay benefits statements of all the staff would be sent to them this week to enable them confirm the figures.

The BPE dirctor general also said the present administration was leaving no stone unturned to ensure that it appoints a regulator for the Nigerian Ports Authority, NPA.

He said the absence of a regulator at the ports since the concession exercise in 2006 had impeded the smooth operation of the concessionaires.

According to him: “During the concession of the ports in 2006, it was envisaged that a regulator will be put in place soon after to regulate operations at the ports but seven years down the line, this has not been achieved.”

To that effect, he said the Federal Executive Council, FEC, would soon receive a bill for the consideration and approval of the Ports and Harbour Reform Bill.

Meanwhile, the BPE boss in a statement by its spokesman, Mr. Chigbo Anichebe, restated that the privatisation of the power sector was to give room for efficiency and to cut down costs.

Dikki, who spoke during a Federal Radio Corporation of Nigeria, FRCN, phone-in programme, said: “At present there are 43,000 workers for PHCN, which generates about 6,000 megawatts of electricity for the country. This is not economically viable because in a public set up, there is no entrepreneurial spirit.”

He also justified the federal government adoption of the process of guided liquidation for the Nigerian Telecommunications Limited, NITEL, and MTEL transaction because the companies’ liabilities far outweighed their current value.

He added that the Bureau was in the process of engaging advisers who are expected to visit all NITEL/MTEL installations in the country to assess the state of the company and subsequently obtain its actual value.

He also said the privatisation process of the Abuja Securities and Commodity Exchange, ASCE, had commenced in earnest stressing that the move would unlock the country’s agricultural potentials and also provide predictable prices for agricultural produce.


Information from ThisDay was used in this report.