BY VICTOR AHIUMA-YOUNG
SENIOR Staff Association of Electricity and Allied Companies, SSAEAC, has dismissed the report recently submitted by the probe panel set up by the former Minister of Power, Professor Barth Nnaji to probe the alleged missing fund in the workers of the Power Holding Company of Nigeria, PHCN, pension fund, otherwise known as the PHCN superannuation fund.
SSAEAC in a statement concluded that the pronouncement of Government and the report of the eight member committee were arrangements put in place to water-down the demand of PHCN unions, that workers to be severed from their present employers must be paid their entitlements.
The statement by Comrade Abiodun Ogunsegha, General Secretary of SSAEAC, read “We observed with trepidation the report of the Ajiboye Committee instituted by the erstwhile Minister of Power Prof. Bart. Nnaji to investigate the alleged loss of over “200 billion” Superannuation (Pensions) Fund of PHCN and note that ever before the committee was set up, the then Minister had predicted the outcome of the Committee he set up, by alleging that the Management and the workers’ unions stole the Fund.
Now that the Committee had submitted its interim report we have seen clearly that the Committee was deliberately set up with a premeditated agenda, primarily to water down or disclaim the legitimate position of the unions that the superannuation Fund was grossly underfunded by the Management of PHCN and that workers contribution by setting aside of 25% of workers emolument was a solid fact.
“The setting aside of 25% of total emolument of the workers, was a novelty by then Management of ECN/NEPA, to cater for the gratuity, pensions of workers. It was a practice inherited by the PHCN when it transformed from NEPA and was never stopped up to this moment.”
“It is a wide joke and act of irresponsibility for anyone to claim as was told to the Nigerian people that the Committee discovered a $2m in Barclays Bank in London” when in actual fact the balance in the accounts of the Superannuation Fund in the bank which arose out of legitimate transactions that started way back 1958 when the expatriates were in charge of the Nigeria Dams Authority and Electric Corporation of Nigeria a precursor of NEPA/PHCN.
This position was reiterated in the advert publication of PHCN Management of 20th Sept, 2012. Another odorous lie from Government Official pronouncement was that “it also discovered” Kado Estates in Abuja.
Kado Estates Abuja is one of the severalproperties of the fund which were earlier ceded to the Fund as non-core assets of PHCN but which the then Minister of the FCT, Malam El Rufai sold off. The Board of Trustees of the Superannuation Fund had since instituted a case in court to recover these properties. The case is presently at the court of Appeal, Abuja. How suddenly that the committee ‘discovered’ this property?”
“The pronouncement of Government and the report of the eight (8) member committee are arrangements put in place to water-down the demand of PHCN unions, that workers of PHCN that are to be severed from their present employers must be paid their entitlements.”