Oscarlune Onwuemenyi 11 November 2015, Sweetcrude, Abuja – The Trade Union Congress, TUC, has criticised the proposed payment of about N2.7 billion as severance allowance and gratuity to seven board members of the Nigeria Electricity Regulatory Commission, NERC.
Dr. Sam Amadi, Chairman, NERC
Comrades Bobboi Bala Kaigama and Musa Lawal, TUC president and secretary-general, respectively, described the proposed payment as a reflection of the fact that the agency has lost touch with prevailing economic realities.
It further warned that paying that huge sum of money at a time the government is suffering from cash crunch would be a disservice to the people.
The statement reads: “The attention of the TUC has been drawn to reports of a resolution by the board of the NERC to pay the sum of N2.7billion to just seven of its members whose five-year tenure expires on 22nd of December, 2015. We consider the report as the most expensive jokes in recent times.
“The sum of N400 million is said to be projected for the Chairman of the Commission and N380 million for other members of the board. This is happening at a time when both the federal and state governments are crying over financial challenges. This can best be described as the peak of insensitivity and cruelty.”
The workers wondered why only seven government employees should be paid salaries upfront for two years after leaving office during which they would not be eligible to work in the power sector.
TUC said the situation becomes worse as the colossal sum of money, curiously termed “severance and gratuity,” includes the cost of their official cars, phone calls, electricity, rebate allowances, and others for their ‘part-service years.’