The federal government yesterday said it had spent N370.8 billion on the payment of severance allowances to workers of the defunct Power Holding Company of Nigeria, PHCN.
Martina Omojola, the Deputy Director, Labour Matters, Electricity Power Department, Bureau of Public Enterprise (BPE), disclosed this to the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Abuja.
She said the total staff strength of the former PHCN workers was 47,913, adding that out of this, 46,308 had so far been validated.
Omojola said the number of validated workers included both regular and casual workers of the company.
"Out of that, we have paid 45,519 workers till date. So, what is outstanding from the validated is about 789 and we are still processing their benefits.
"So, with that in mind, we have made payment of N370.8 billion till date in 18 batches through the office of the Accountant General of the Federation.
"If you look at that, it's about 99 per cent of the validated number that have been paid so far," she said.
Omojola attributed the non-verification of some workers to insufficient information regarding their validity as staff of the defunct PHCN. "Only 1,605 out of the total staff strength of 47,913 are yet to be validated. However, we cannot say we have written them off. "There is a committee that still sits on this comprising BPE, NELMCO, PHCN headquarter, ministry of power, office of the accountant general of the federation and the unions," she said.
On the settlement of retirees, Omojola said that the bureau was also working on the payment of outstanding entitlement.
She said the initial list of retirees with outstanding gratuity and other money were 4,146, adding that so far, 1,586 of them had been paid. She noted that a total of N9. 2 billion had so far been used to settle the 1,586 retirees that were cleared.
"We are presently working on about 1,647 of them. We have gone on verification, moving from one part of the federation to another.
"Most of the retirees and their next of kin showed up, while others did not. "About 913 people have not showed up. So that's the problem we have to complete the process. And until we get the last person, we cannot stop the work," she said. Martina urged members of the public that still had entitlements with PHCN to register at the PHCN headquarters.