22 October 2012

Nigeria: PHCN Worth N2 Trillion, Not N200 Billion - Union

The National Union of Electricity Employees (NUEE) has condemned the devaluation of the assets of the Power Holding Company of Nigeria (PHCN) at N200 billion, saying the power firm is worth N2 trillion.

NUEE general secretary Comrade Joseph Ajaero, who made this comment at a press conference in Lagos at the weekend, called for the arrest and prosecution of those behind the devaluation, even as he lamented that the country was facing a rip-off.

He said: "It is only a prodigal son that would sell the house of his father that gives N300 billion yearly for N200 billion, and those who devalued PHCN assets wanted to scrap what belongs to Nigerians.

"The warning is that if you take an aspect of the asset worth N2 trillion and sell for N200 billion, and the entitlements of workers is about N500 billion, government has to look for the excess to pay the workers.

"We want to sound this note of warning to Nigerians that would say the union is proving difficult because after paying the entitlements of the workers out of the money, over N1.5 trillion should go to the coffers of the nation", he said.

"The evaluation they came out with is about N200 billion, but the amount is not up to the landed property or houses of the PHCN. So having devalued it - and they have entitlement that is more than even what they valued the PHCN - they are trying to justify their evaluation."

Ajaero reiterated that the workers' entitlements must be paid, saying workers would not take anything less.

"We just want to inform Nigerians on the prodigal sale of our assets in the name of privatisation but we have sympathy for Nigerians who will suffer tomorrow," he said.

It would be recalled that the report of negotiation between the three unions of PHCN and Federal Government on power sector reforms in April 2011 stated that the 50 per cent increase shall be paid in lump sum with the employee's salary and shall be implemented across board no later than February 2012.

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