Leadership (Abuja)

21 December 2012

Nigeria: Labour Cautions FG Against Sacking PHCN Workers Without Payment of Entitlements

The National Union of Electricity Employees (NUEE) on Friday warned that no staff of the Power Holding Company of Nigeria (PHCN) should be sacked without payment of their entitlements.

Mr Joe Ajaero, General Secretary, NUEE, gave the warning in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Lagos.

Ajaero said that workers of the company should not be disengaged if their severance packages were not paid.

He was reacting to a statement by Dr Dere Awosika, Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Power, that the Ministry would start issuing disengagement letters to PHCN workers on Dec. 17.

Awosika had said at the 5th Power Summit in Lagos that the Ministry would start issuing letters of disengagement to the PHCN workers from Dec. 17 to Dec. 21, "since the Bureau of Public Enterprises (BPE) was working out the total cost of their disengagement."

Ajaero said that representatives of the Federal Government and the union had last week signed an agreement on how to pay pension and gratuities to PHCN workers.

He said that the government and labour unions in PHCN had agreed on payment of gratuities and pensions to the workers, as plans to transfer the ownership of PHCN to successor companies reached a climax.

NAN reports that the Ministry had announced that the Federal Government would disburse N170 billion as severance package to workers of PHCN.

It would be recalled that the Energy Sector Power Reform Act of 2005 (ESPR) splintered PHCN into 18 successor companies for sale in the ongoing power sector reform. (NAN)

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