PHCN’s junior workers to get N8m severance package – Govt

Ben Agande

14 August 2012, Sweetcrude, ABUJA – THE least qualified staff of the Power Holding Company of Nigeria, PHCN, with School Certificate qualification will be paid a minimum of N8 million while the highest officer in the organisation will receive at least N38 million total package in the payment arrangement being worked out by the federal government as part of the repositioning of the company.

Minister of Power, Professor Barth Nnaji, who stated this Monday while addressing State House correspondents in Abuja after briefing Goodluck
Jonathan on the key performance indicators for his ministry, described unions in the PHCN as outlaws who are inconsiderate of the various positive steps being taken by Federal Government to address their plight following the privatisation of the organisation.

According to the minister, the Federal Government has accepted to pay the aggrieved workers a total of 15 percent as severance package for each employee over a period covering 2003 to 2012.

Part of the payment the minister said, will comprise of 7.5 percent employer contribution as specified under the new pension law and another 7.5 percent expected to have been contributed by the workers themselves.

He said available records indicated that PHCN has failed to remit its quota of 7.5 percent to the workers pension accounts, adding that government has however accepted to pay such defaults amounting to 15 percent for each beneficiary against insinuation that the PHCN workers will receive a flat benefit of N85,000.

“The talk about some staff going home with N85,000 is from people who have a different mission,” he said.

“The PHCN unions are contituting themselves as outlaws,” the minister added.

Speaking on the performance of the power sector, Professor Nanji said the National Assembly, NASS, approved a total of N78.4b to cover other constituency projects, adding that of this amount, N21.5billion had been released with N 11.4billion, representing 52.5 percent, utilised.

He said the 2012 budget focused on resucitating the Rural Electricity Agency to make electricity more accessible to Nigerians particularly at the rural areas.

“National Integrated Power Projects, NIPP, projects have been accelerated and will be completed this year. There are 10 NIPP plants across the country. Government is working hard to supply gas to the plantsn” he said.

According to him, the 2013 budget will concentrate on giving full implementation of the electricity reforms and completion of on going projects as well as establishment of gas and power infrstructure bond with increased funding of generating companies.

He said power will continue to improve in the country considering the efforts being made by government.

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