15 September 2015, Abuja – The Bureau of Public Enterprises (BPE) has said a total of N17 billion has so far been disbursed in settlement of the retirement benefits of 68 per cent of the 4,307 retired workers of defunct state-owned electricity company, the Power Holding Company of Nigeria (PHCN).
Director General of the agency, Benjamin Dikki made this disclosure at the resumed hearing of the Senate ad-hoc committee set up to investigate past expenditures in the power sector by the previous administrations of former Presidents Olusegun Obasanjo, Umaru Yar’Adua and Goodluck Jonathan.
Dikki stated that the outstanding 22 per cent of the retirees, who were yet to be completely verified due to challenges of obtaining legal proof of next of kin from the courts, would be paid off as soon as these conditions are met.
He explained that just about 1,169 of the 47,913 workers of the defunct PHCN were yet to be paid their severance packages and that the outstanding number included workers that exited the company before the severance payment commenced.
As for the retirees, Dikki said that about 2,791 retired staff of the PHCN, representing 68 per cent of the retirees, have been paid N17 billion, while the outstanding number of retirees, which stands at 1,516 will be paid off with appropriate documentation.
Dikki equally stated that government would not pay anyone that had not been verified by the agency and that the next of kin of deceased staff members of the PHCN would have to obtain the appropriate court papers, to enable them to receive their relations’ entitlements.
He reiterated that a total of N376 billion was expended in payment of the severance benefits of the PHCN workers.
Dikki equally stated that the process of payment of benefits accruing to pensioners involved the BPE, Office of Accountant General of the Federation, Ministry of Finance, the Nigerian Electricity Liabilities Management Company (NELMCO) and the Nigerian Pension Commission (PenCom).
On the performance of the privatised electricity assets vis-à-vis government’s options in the case of a possible reclaim from poorly performing investors, Dikki stated that the various heads of agreements signed during the privatisation exercise grants the government the leeway to reclaim a non-performing entity at a $1 cost repayment to affected investors.
- This Day