23 December 2012

Nigeria: FG Needs N500 Billion to Settle PHCN Workers

The National Union of Electricity Employees yesterday said that N500billion was required to pay the entitlement of workers in the power sector.

The union's General Secretary, Mr Joe Ajaero, made this known during an interactive session with journalists in Lagos.

Ajaero said that of the amount, N400billion would be required for workers' gratuity, while N100billion would be use to pay pension arrears.

He said that it was not the Ministry of Power that should announce what the Federal Government would disburse as severance package to PHCN workers.

The general secretary said that the Bureau of Public Enterprises (BPE) was in a better position to announce the cost of settlement.

He said it was regrettable that in industrial relation practice, implementing an agreement was always a major problem, after all issues had been resolved.

He expressed the hope that in 2013, the entitlement of the workers would be paid to enable Nigerians to enjoy the expected 5000 mega watts of electricity.

"We are expecting about 5000 mega watts of electricity from the Nigeria Integrated Power Project (NIPP) by next year. We believe this will boost electricity supply to consumers," he said.

The union's scribe noted that the NIPP project, which had gulped about N37billion, should have been inaugurated before the end of 2012.

He said that if the project is inaugurated in 2013, it would coincide with the effort of the private investors at improving electricity supply.

He, however, warned those giving various interpretations to the agreement signed between the government and the union, to desist from doing so to enable the workers to get their severance package.

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