04 October 2015, Lagos – The Chief Executive Officer of Egbin Power Plc, Mr. Dallas M. Peavey, has raised the alarm that the continued presence of illegal occupants at the company’s facilities is threatening the smooth operation of the 1,320-megawatt capacity plant.
Peavy also said in a statement yesterday that the presence of the former staff of the defunct Power Holding Company of Nigeria, PHCN, in the company’s Housing Estate had constituted a major challenge to ensuring sustained transformation as well as security of lives and property on the plant,
Peavey noted that Egbin whose sustained 1,100mw generation is driving recent increase in the nation’s power supply faces a huge setback from the current housing constraints due to the illegal occupants who were former employees of the defunct Power Holding Company of Nigeria, PHCN.
Commissioned in 1985 as part of the Egbin Power facility, the Egbin Housing Estate was designed to provide accommodation for employees to promote staff welfare and enhanced productivity.
The Complex is currently being upgraded by Egbin Power’s new management as major repairs of the schools within the estate had been concluded and there is an ongoing overhaul of the recreational centres and housing units.
According to Peavey, the illegitimate residents, their wards and certain groups in the community have been linked with plans to disrupt the operations of the plant and other misdemeanors such as incidences of rape, robberies and vandalism that are already occurring on the facility.
“The illegal occupants are not documented and this is a huge risk in an enclosed environment. Outcomes from various investigations show that some of the criminal and untoward acts perpetrated in the estate have been traced to individuals linked to some of the former PHCN staff most of whom have either retired or transferred about 8years ago but have refused to vacate the Estate after being served quit notices for over two years now.
“They continue to harass our staff and issue threats of major disruptions to the facility. The situation deserves immediate national attention considering the strategic role Egbin plays in the power sector. We therefore appeal to law enforcement agencies to urgently address the situation which may result in sabotage to the plant,” he said.
The Egbin CEO said the housing constraint was taking its toll on the technical personnel and engineers who work on shift and on-call duty.
He explained that no fewer than 150 staff are being denied accommodation by the situation, a development he added had led to endless cases of “trauma and impeded productivity” in the company.
“Most of the technical personnel and engineers who work on shift and on-call duty have had to seek accommodation outside the company’s facility and now find it difficult to attend to call duties especially when it occurs at odd hours. Employees on shift duty operations that end late in the night encounter several security risks on their way home.
“About 150 of our employees and their families are being denied accommodation as a result of the illegal occupants. We have staff crowded into apartments whilst the current occupants who have since been paid their severance packages and entitlements refuse to vacate the official quarters. We have about 16 graduate engineers crammed into a 3 bedroom, with many more staff and their families being dislodged. Obviously, their prolonged illegal stay is stretching the existing maintenance facilities meant for the legal occupants.
“We are calling for the prompt intervention of the government and law enforcement agencies to address the situation to ensure adequate security of lives and property, and most importantly, sustained transformation in Egbin,” he stated.
*Ejiofor Alike – Thisday