408 Defunct PHCN Workers Gets N1.05bn Labour Liabilities Payment
A total of 408 workers of the defunct Power Holding Company of Nigeria or their next of kin have been verified and are set to receive N1.05bn, the Bureau of Public Enterprises has said.
In a statement made available in Abuja on Thursday, the Director General, BPE, Mr Alex Okoh, said the National Council on Privatisation chaired by Vice-President Yemi Osinbajo had approved the payment, which he described as an outstanding labour issue in the power sector privatisation.
Okoh said some of the workers, who had been computed and audited by the Office of the Accountant-General of the Federation, had started receiving payment of their entitlements amounting to N1,053,402,476.03.
He explained that the current milestone in the resolution and settlement of the outstanding labour liabilities became possible after the BPE on March 27 constituted a technical working group comprising the OAGF, National Pension Commission and some workers’ unions to finalise the payment process.
Previously, the BPE had through the OAGF paid 47,041 out of the 47,913 active staff members of the defunct PHCN in 35 batches, and 2,962 out of the 4,423 retirement and death benefits to beneficiaries in 14 batches.
Okoh said this was in line with the mandate of the BPE to ensure that labour issues in privatisation were adequately addressed and resolved.
He stated, “Given the fact that not all the active staff and retirees/NOKs of the defunct PHCN were verified, the NCP at its meeting of April 16, 2015, directed the bureau to continue with the process of verification and payment of outstanding cases until a final resolution was achieved.
“Following the NCP’s directive and approval, the bureau conducted the final verification for staff and retirees/NOKs of the defunct PHCN in six geo-political centres from October 3 to 14, 2016, resulting in the 408 beneficiaries who are now being paid.”
Eighteen firms were carved out from the defunct PHCN as part of the process to reform the electricity industry. These were the Transmission Company of Nigeria, 11 distribution companies based on geographical coverage, and six generating companies.