13 September 2013, Lagos – NATIONAL Union of Electricity Employees (NUEE) has warned private investors who bought assets of the power Holding Company of Nigeria (PHCN), to in their own interest steer clear of PHCN facilities as their safety cannot be guaranteed.
The union in a petition to the Presidency through the Minister of Power, insisted that until all the labour issues were settled and workers benefits paid in full, any investor found close to PHCN facility would have he or herself to blame.
In the petition by the General Secretary of the NUEE, Comrade Joe Ajaero said “After we have patiently observed the actions and inactions of the Federal Government in relation to the privatization process of the Power Sector, especially as it affects the resolution of Labour issues; we regret to state that the Government seem to be unwilling to prove her genuine willingness to conclusively address the issues. More worrisome is Government’s resort to Media propaganda by making bogus statements to earn public trust and credibility while the issues that originally constitute cogs in the privatization process are left unattended.”
“We have noted of late that the Power Minister, Prof. Chinedu Nebo, has made public the intention of Government to commence the handover of PHCN facilities to investors. Hinging his reasons on having sorted out all the challenges hampering the transition, as a major stakeholder in the Power Sector, we cannot sit back and pretend that all is well in the whole process.
We therefore advise that all investors should steer clear from PHCN facilities until all labour and labour related issues are conclusively resolved and implemented. We cannot guarantee the safety of any person who may wish to dare. The workers are very much agitated on some unresolved issues.”
He added that “the afforested is borne out of the following: Haphazard implementation of payments of terminal benefits, Non-payment of Retirement Saving Fund to Pension Fund Administrators, PFA, Non remittance of 2% the Union deductions as agreed, Non implementation of 10% Equity share due to the workers, Non-payment of Retirees who disengaged since 2011and Non regularization of some of the casuals already identified.
“We have shown enough patriotism and high level of understanding in this discourse. It is therefore expected and incumbent on the Government to reciprocate the gesture by respecting the contents of the pact we had to the letter. We cannot allow our labour over the years to go in vain; therefore, we reiterate that investors should not dare into any PHCN formation to take over until all the above are resolved.”