Minister tasks PHCN workers on severance package

Professor Chinedu Nebo07 June 2013, Lagos – Minister of Power, Prof. Chinedu Nebo, has advised Power Holding Company of Nigeria, PHCN, workers to invest their severance package wisely when paid.

Nebo gave the advice at a question and answer session with the media and labour unions in Eko Electricity Distribution Company in Lagos.

“I want to urge all of you to ensure that when the severance package is paid into your account, you should plan on it and spend it wisely.

“The money should be spent meticulous and avoid unnecessary flamboyant spending that will attract robbers and wastages,” he said.

The minister, however, assured workers that their package will be paid as agreed and directly into their account in batches.

He urged them to invest the money in their children’s education so that it would not look as if their children did not benefit from their suffering and hard labour.

However, some union members cautioned Federal Government to reduce the rate of publicity on the package, to avoid being attacked by hoodlums.

Mr Segun Afolorunso, Chairman, Nigeria Union of Electricity Employees, NUEE, Eko Electricity Distribution Zone chapter, expressed the fear that the announcement might attract robbers and kidnappers to beneficiaries.

He implored the government not to make further pronouncement on the issue because hoodlums could use the avenue to start attacking the disengaged PHCN workers.

Afolorunso said that during the previous announcement in the newspapers, some of their members were attacked by hoodlums.

“Some of our staff members were kidnapped by gunmen in Anambra because of the money they were yet to collect.

“Also, the bus that conveyed our members to Sapele in Delta was attacked by robbers who demanded for their own share of the money.

“The robbers collected the workers ATM cards. They told the workers that the aim was to enable them to collect their own share of the money when the workers are paid,” he said.

“For the safety of the PHCN workers, I implore the government to keep the issue of our severance package secret so that we could plan how to invest the money,” he added.

The labour leader, however, appealed to government to fulfil the agreement made to workers by meeting up with the June deadline.

The Federal Government said on Tuesday that it would pay the N384 billion severance package for disengaged PHCN workers in June.

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