Yemie Adeoye 28 October 2013, Sweetcrude, Lagos – Workers of the defunct Power Holding Company of Nigeria, PHCN today protested over the forceful takeover of the company’s assets by investors without full payment of their entitlements
The protest, according to some of the workers who spoke to newsmen, was as a result of the armed presence of Military and Civil Defence personnel within the premises of both companies in Marina and Ikeja respectively.
As a result of the protest, activities was paralysed in Eko Electricity Distribution Company, Marina and Ikeja Electricity Distribution Company, Alausa both in Lagos.
Lagos State Chairman of the National Union of Electricity Employee, NUEE, Mr. Adeleke Ibrahim said the presence of armed military personnel pose serious threat to the lives of the workers.
According to him, information making the rounds has it that investors are coming to take over the physical assets of the company without complete payment of workers entitlements by the Federal Government.
“As a result we prepared ourselves to come ahead of them. They went to reinforce their strategy by bringing in civil defence combined with military personnel that were already on ground.
“We are not saying that they should not take over but let the federal government pay us our entitlements. Do they want us to end up like NPA and NITEL staff?
“The presence of these military personnel pose serious danger to the lives of our workers, their lives is important to us and we cherish them.
“Less than 40 per cent of our workers have not been paid their complete entitlement and yet they want to come and take over? Other benefits and entitlement of PHCN workers have been left unattended to.
When newsmen visited the scene of the protest at Marina Lagos, military personnel bared protesting workers from taking photograph of men of Nigeria Army.
Meanwhile, President Goodluck Jonathan had reassured the labour work force in the power sector that arrangement is on ground to pay their full entitlement.
Speaking recently in Ondo State during the commissioning of Omotosho 500 megawatt Power Plant Phase 2, President Jonathan said “I will like to reassure all PHCN workers that are yet to receive their full severance payment that government is working hard to make your payment. So there is no need for any industrial action.”