Director General, Bureau of Public Enterprises (BPE), Mr. Benjamin Ezra Dikki has said 40,093 workers of the Power Holding Company of Nigeria (PHCN) had so far been cleared and forwarded to the Office of the Accountant General of the Federation (OAGF) for payment in the on-going exercise for the payment of severance benefits to the workers.
He also said a total of N342.8 billion to the OAGF for the payment.
Giving an update on the exercise at the weekend in Abuja while addressing Transitional Chairmen of the PHCN Successor Companies, Dikki noted that the figures represented payment to 84 percent of the entire workforce of the former state monopoly.
In a statement by BPE spokesman, Chigbo Anichebe, the BPE boss who was represented by Project Manager (PM) Electric Power Department of the Bureau, Mr. Amaechi Aloke said the schedules of payments which were transferred to the Office of the Accountant General of the Federation by the Bureau of Public Enterprises in six batches, cut across workers at the PHCN Headquarters, the Generation Companies (GENCOs), Distribution Companies (DISCOs) and the Transmission Company of Nigeria (TCN).
Dikki said out of the six batches, the OAGF had confirmed the payment of three, totaling 26,899 persons.
“The payment covers the severance benefits and RSA components”, he said.
The DG maintained that the OAGF had assured that by next week, another two batches (4 and 5), totaling 11,716 workers would be paid their entitlements.
On union dues, the DG said that the OAGF has confirmed the remittance of N3 billion to the two PHCN unions-the Senior Staff Association of Electricity and Allied Companies, (SSAEAC) and National Union of Electricity Employees (NUEE), deducted from the PHCN workers benefits.
It will be recalled that the federal government had demonstrated great commitment in resolving labour issues in the power sector reform and privatisation.
Apart from committing the entire proceeds realized from the sale of power assets to the payment of the workers’ terminal benefits, government had at the initial stage of the transaction, released N57bn to take care of the workers pension.
This was coming after the government had increased the workers’ salary by 50 percent and regularized some of the casual workers.
Information from This Day was used in this report.