The Implementation Committee on Payment of Power Holding Company of Nigeria (PHCN) Terminal benefits of the Bureau of Public Enterprises (BPE) is set to release time-table for the payments of severance benefits for staff retirees and Next of Kins (NOKs) to be verified in Nine Centres across the country.
Speaking to newsmen on the heels of the threat to public property by aggrieved union members and ex-workers of PHCN, the Chief of Staff to the Minister of Power, Professor Chidi Onyia said that Nigerians deserve to have adequate information in order to have informed position of the issues involved.
He said the Committee put in place by the BPE and which also have representations from the Ministry and Office of the Accountant General has diligently handled all issues pertaining to verification and had drawn up a check-list for all beneficiaries to bring to the various designated centres, upon which they are paid.
He said Mr. President has demonstrated a clear understanding of the nation’s labour law which informed his directives to the handlers of Severance Package to be diligent in the validation processes adding that Government does not want to pay ghost workers but only the right people.
He said so far, a whopping N372 billion has already been paid out to disengaged PHCN workers, stressing that Government has always treated its workers with utmost dignity and respect.
Furthermore, he debunked the assertion that Government has remained insensitive to the plight of the disengaged PHCN workers, saying that the Minister has directed that all issues pertaining to this must be resolved on time.
He said this position has nothing to do with the forth coming general election, just as he reiterated that the Minister of Power is desirous of building harmonious labour relationship for the entire power sector, assuring that the core or residual staff in the sector would be paid as at when due.
It would be recalled that with the privatization of the Generation and Distribution Sub-sectors, a total of 47,000 disengaged workers of the defunct PHCN are on the list of persons to be paid by the BPE, Professor Onyia said that record shows that 45,000 persons have been paid, with another 1,669 beneficiaries cleared, thus remaining less than 1,000 workers who are yet to be verified, they would be paid at 9 designated centres across the country beginning from 26th January – 6thFebruary, 2015.