phcnFor the almost 47, 000 workers of the Power Holding Company of Nigeria (PHCN) who lost their jobs recently, there is hope.

The workers that constituted the bulk of the National Union of Electricity Employees (NUEE), and the Senior Staff Association of Electricity and Allied Companies (SSAEAC), stakeholders said, are employable.

The Chief Executive Officer, Chartered Institute of Personnel Management of Nigeria (CIPM), Sunday Adeyemi said the disengaged workers stand better chances of landing jobs in the post – sector reforms era than any new employee from outside.

He said this view was true because thousands of the disengaged electricity sector workers have the knowledge of the operations of the power plants and other PHCN facilities across the country, adding that it would take months, or even years for the new owners of the power companies to source for new manpower for their companies.

Insisting that experience counts and plays a major role in the recruitment of workers, particularly for those workers in technical and high skill areas, the CIPM Registrar said all the disengaged PHCN workers need do, is update and improve on their skills and competencies, to make them relevant to the new owners of the power companies.

“The workers need to be ready to move on and find a positive way forward. It is also important to have worked out any issues concerning wrongful termination because this can prevent you from moving on,” he said, adding that it was important for the former workers to leave whatever pain they felt behind them, saying the they should not be ashamed of their job loss.

Chairman, Lagos Chapter, NUEE, Mr. Adeleke Ibrahim, said the Federal Government’s reasons for not having the money, or will to implement the reforms was a challenge.

He had pointed out that while the sector unions were not against privatisation of the PHCN, or the power reforms, he urged the government to pay the workers their entitlements before the new owners start operations, noting that this would put the disengaged workers on a sure footing in their quest to forge ahead in their new career.

The Lagos State NUEE boss said some of the issues in contention, which included the non-payment of retirement savings to pension fund administrators and non-remittance of dues of two per cent deducted from workers’ salaries to the unions, be addressed, adding that a workforce without pensions and one that faces threats of sack, would not be active or productive.


[The Nation]