15 January 2013

Nigeria: Recruitment of 500 Engineers - Power Ministry's Planned Use of Consultants Faulted

Lagos — ORGANISED Labour in the power sector, yesterday, condemned alleged plan by the Power Ministry to draw about N109,321,451.87, from the accounts of the Power Holding Company of Nigeria, PHCN, to recruit about 500 engineers for PHCN through consultants.

Under the umbrella of the National Union of Electricity Employees, NUEE, in a statement issued in Lagos, said such recruitment meant for Transmission Company of Nigeria, TCN, was an aberration to standard practice as TCN, PHCN have Human Resource Department (HR) in charge of recruitments.

NUEE in the statement through its General Secretary, Comrade Joe Ajaero, said: "We have been inundated of an unholy intent of the Power Ministry to commit waste of tax payer's money in the name of wanting to recruit engineers for the Transmission Company of Nigeria, PHCN.

"It is regrettable to state that the Power Ministry has concluded arrangements to draw about N109,321,451.87 only from PHCN accounts to recruit about 500 engineers for PHCN through consultants.

"This action, to state the least, is an aberration to standard practice as TCN, PHCN has full compliments of Human Resource Department (HR) in-charge of recruitments. Besides, what has gone wrong with the Power Ministry's vote for the year? When has it become the responsibility of PHCN to fund projects undertaken by the Power Ministry, when the Ministry has in its kitty approved and allocated votes for its operations?

"Why would the Ministry tinker with the scarce resources of an ailing department with overwhelming challenges of effective, efficient and constant Electric Power Supply to the populace, even when some of the challenges are avoidable given sound financial footing?

"We believe the Ministry has no business to recruit for PHCN rather the Human Resource (HR) Department of the company can be encouraged and made to carry out its duties without extraneous manipulations and concerns.

The statement continues: "After all, who had been recruiting for PHCN before now? There are seasoned and competent personnel who over the years have been undoubtedly excelling.

"All the PHCN zonal offices in the Federation are well equipped with HR personnel who would carry out the responsibility with less cost.

"In our view, out-sourcing such responsibilities can be entertained when there is dearth of adequate qualified personnel and manpower, but in this instance, everything is in place."

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