Leadership (Abuja)

16 January 2013

Nigeria: PHCN Workers Must Work Harder to Rake in Cash - NUEE

The National Union of Electricity Employees (NUEE), has challenged PHCN workers to work "very hard" so as to rake in more cash to sustain the company.

"The Federal Government has stopped funding the PHCN and the challenge is for us (workers) to redouble our efforts and get the money to keep the company afloat," Mr Anthony Sule, NUEE Zonal Organising Secretary (North-East) said in Jos on Wednesday.

Sule was speaking at the inauguration of the union's caretaker committee to oversee the workers' affairs in the newly created business units in Jos.

He pointed out that PHCN had been funding itself, and advised the workers to brace up for the challenge by putting in additional efforts.

"As it is now, every worker must work harder for his or her pay. We must jointly encourage each other to put in our best," he said.

The NUEE official dismissed allegations that PHCN staff were working to frustrate the ongoing power reforms.

"Any such claim is a blatant lie. These are some of the blackmails used against us. We are Nigerians and we belong to the system. It is our desire that the issues be quickly resolved so that we will happily pull out," he said.

On why NUEE was inaugurating new officials when PHCN was being privatised, Sule said, "although PHCN is folding up, electricity is not folding up."

"Our trade union will not fold up because union activities will continue even in the private sector.

"As I speak, NESCO (a Jos-based power generating and distributing firm), is not PHCN, but there are union activities going on there," he said.

He said that with the creation of two new business units Laranto and Anglo-Jos out of the Jos business unit, it was necessary for the union to set up its structures there to effectively cater for the welfare of members.

"We sought the permission of our national secretariat and they gave us the go ahead to put in place a caretaker committee pending the election of substantive officials for the units," he explained.

Sule revealed that with the inauguration of officials in the new units, the union now had branches in 20 business units under the Jos Electricity Distribution Company.

"The new structures will reinforce the union as the branches have the leadership to handle their issues locally without traveling distances as it used to be in the past."

Mallam Sulisu Umar is to head the Laranto unit, Emmanuel Ameh to head Anglo-Jos, while Peter Ocheme is to head the committee for the Jos business unit.

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