BY CHRIS OCHAYI
ABUJA— THE Federal Government has ordered that some banking institutions handling the payments of benefits to the last batch of disengaged Power Holding Company of Nigeria, PHCN, workers be investigated over their alleged culpability in delaying processing of the payments.
The government, which described the development as embarrassing, recalled that a payment instruction given on December 10 to a particular commercial bank had not been transferred to the account of the Accountant-Generation of the Federation, 13 days after.
Minister of Power, Professor Chinedu Nebo, who said this while speaking during a meeting with the Minister of Labour, new owners of PHCN successor compa-nies and other power sec-tor stakeholders, said the situation was intolerable.
He added that the delay in paying monies already released by government, which was causing frustra-tion among the workers, was meant to embarrass the Federal Government.
The Power Minister said the meeting was called to resolve issues of labour relations between the new owners and the workers, to prevent disharmony that could hinder speedy delivery of power to Nigerians, as envisioned by President Goodluck Jonathan’s transformation agenda.
He stressed the need for the new owners to have in place a good human resource department that will regularly engage labour, rather than discou-raging union activities.
Minister of Labour and Productivity, Chief Emeka Wogu drew the attention of the new headship of the generation and distribution companies to the need to comply with the provisions of Nigeria’s labour laws and International Labour Organisation 1949 Convention, both supporting the existence and operation of workers’ unions.