By VICTOR AHIUMA-YOUNG
LAGOS—ORGANISED labour in the nation’s Power sector, has faulted media report credited to the Bureau for Public Enterprises, BPE, that more than 20,000 workers of the Power Holding Company of Nigeria, PHCN, had fully been paid severance benefits ahead of takeover of PHCN assets by new investors.
Under the aegis of the National Union of Electricity Employees, NUEE, labour said there was no iota of truth in the statement as it was only meant to deceive the “investors” that workers’ entitlements had already been paid.
In a statement by NUEE’s President, Mansir M Musa, labour said: “Attention has been drawn to publications in some national newspapers credited to an agent of Government – one Mr Chigbo Anichebe, of BPE on the payment of severance package to PHCN workers and hereby react as follows.
“There is no iota of truth in the statement as it was only meant to deceive the “investors” that workers’ entitlements have already been paid. The payment made so far only cover few workers as against the claim that over 20,000 workers have been paid out of purported 40,000 workforce.
“The “so-called payment” to the few workers involved is just a fraction of their total entitlement. The balance runs into billions of naira. The statement is misleading and capable of creating negative impression before the public and “investors” that Government has paid fully all the entitlements. We hope they will not be so deceived. No staff of PHCN has been fully paid till now.
“We wish to reiterate that we shall resist any illegal takeover of PHCN until the severance benefits are fully paid to all PHCN workers. Government should therefore effect full payment without further delay and guard against actions capable of generating tension and industrial unrest.”