FG to begin payment of PHCN exit workers next week

Acting-Director-General-BPE-Mr-Benjamin-Dikki13 July 2013, Abuja – The Federal Government will commence the severance payment of Power Holding Company of Nigeria, PHCN, exit workers next week, the Director-General, Bureau of Public Enterprises, BPE, Benjamin Dikki, has said.

Dikki spoke while receiving the Senate Committee on Privatisation that visited the organisation as part of its oversight function.

His words : “Presently, agreement has been reached with the workers on all aspects of the payment of the terminal benefits. Actual payment is expected to commence by mid-July.”

The Minister of Power,  Prof Chinedu Nebo, had promised President GoodluckJonthan that the Ministry would have completed the payment before the end of June, 2013. But the Federal Government seemed to have shifted the commencement of payment scheduled to begin on June 17, to mid July.

Dikki explained to the lawmakers that  a Committee under the Chairmanship of the Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Power, was set-up to drive the implementation of the agreement signed between the Federal Government and Labour in December, 2012. He said a technical -sub-committee was set up to determine the correct number of bona-fide staff and obtain their bio-data.

He said the sub-committee will determine the  components of staff entitlements including severance, gratuity, pension and repatriation, among others.

Dikki said the  Bureau was jointly managing the sale of the 10 National Integrated Power Project (NIPP) power plants with Niger Delta Power Holding Company, NDPHC, adding that in order to expose investors with the transactions, road shows were held in Lagos, London, Hong Kong and New York.

“The road shows attracted a large number of potential investors. This is a clear indication of a global interest in the emerging Nigerian power market,” he said, adding that the deadline for the submission of Expression of Interest on the NIPP power plants, is July 19th, 2013.

Continuing, he said, “the bidders were subsequently given 21st of March, 2013 as deadline for the payment of the initial 25 per cent of the purchase consideration. By the deadline, all the preferred bidders duly paid 25 per cent of the purchase consideration amounting to $387. 964 million and N20. 365 billion. The balance of the purchase consideration must be paid on or before 21st September, 2013.”

– John Ofikhenua.

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