11 October 2013, Abuja – The Bureau of Public Enterprises has said that 38,000 workers of the Power Holding Company of Nigeria may get their full entitlements before the physical handover of the already sold power generation and distribution companies to their new owners on November 1, 2013.
According to the bureau, the Federal Government had successfully verified 38,000 workers out of the over 45,000 employees of the power firm.
The Deputy Director, Electric Power Department, Mr. Amaechi Aloke, told our correspondent that the government was working hard to ensure that the new investors did not face the problem of settling the workers.
Aloke stated this on the sidelines of a workshop organised by the Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission for purchasers of the PHCN successor companies and other stakeholders in Abuja.
He said, “The bureau has been able to verify 38,000 workers out of the 45,000 employees of the PHCN and the Federal Government is working hard to have these workers fully settled before the physical handover date, which is November 1.
“We are assuring you (new power firm owners) that workers’ severance benefits will not be an issue when you take over fully in Nigeria.”
At the workshop, NERC and the successful buyers of Gencos and Discos met to discuss the draft interim management rules and other regulatory issues that will guide the industry.
The Chairman, NERC, Dr. Sam Amadi, said the event was aimed at getting the inputs of the operators and other stakeholders to the draft interim rules for the management of the electricity industry before the Transitional Electricity Market is declared.
He said, “The workshop provides an opportunity for the new operators to understand the various regulations and benchmarks which NERC uses to regulate the electricity market.
“We know that the new operators are persons who have managed electricity network in other jurisdictions and come with great breath of experience. Nevertheless, it is important that we explain the regulations applicable to the Nigerian market.”
Amadi said the interim rules being considered would provide governance framework for the electricity network between when the new operators take over the network and when TEM is declared.
He added, “In keeping with our tradition, we want all stakeholders to make their contributions to the rules. The rules are for the market, therefore, they should be the views of market participants. But I must state it clear that it is not the operators who write the rules for the market.
“It is the regulator who has the statutory responsibility to write the rules. Yes, the operator must have its say and be free to try legitimately to influence regulatory outcomes.
“However, it must realise that the regulator, this regulator, will always defend the public interest and will not allow the rules to be written for narrow business interest.”
– The Punch