Kunle kalejaye 11 November 2015, Sweetcrude, Lagos – The National Union of Electricity Employees, NUEE, has insisted that the controversial housing unit and school located within Egbin Power Station, belongs to electricity worker and not the new owners of the plant.
General Secretary of the union, Comrade Joe Ajaero, in an exclusive interview with SweetcrudeReports,disclosed that the housing unit and the school situated within the power plant were built by electricity workers and that it was not part of what was sold to Sahara Group, the new investors, who bought over the plant.
Workers at the power station have recently been at logger-heads with the new management of the power station over ownership of the facilities.
Ajaero explained that prior to Federal government’s sale of the defunct Power Holding Company assets to private operators under the power sector privatisation programme, levy was deducted from both the power generation and transmission company workers’ salaries to construct the housing unit and the school.
Said he: “The school in Egbin was constructed by National Union of Electricity Employees, NUEE, and the Senior Staff Association and I want former Managing Directors of Power Holding Company of Nigeria, PHCN, former ministers to come out and say a word. We constructed the houses and school there.
“We constructed that of even Jebba and Sapele. Our members’ children could not go to school where these power plants are constructed. Then we started deduction of levies from the salaries of workers to construct these buildings.
“In the early 90s, the management of these buildings was handed over to the management of PHCN so that the workers can concentrate on their primary responsibility. The letter of hand over and other document in Egbin are still with us.
“Before privatisation, the union told government that they cannot hand over what does not belong to them but the people that bought Egbin are now laying claims on it”.
He added that under the Federal government monetisation policy, workers living in staff quarters have the right of ‘first refusal’ and that the workers in the distribution arm of the power sector got theirs. He noted that minimisation was not done in the generation arm as the housing unit was close to where the employees worked.
“Because of that, the new investors could not buy it. When they bought the plant, school and housing was not included. If there is any document that was tendered for the building, it is fraudulent because the Act is clear about what was bought,” Ajaero said.