13 January 2014, Abuja – The Bureau of Public Enterprise (BPE) said in Abuja on Sunday that it had settled the gratuity and pension of 43, 375 former workers of the Power Holding Company of Nigeria (PHCN).
The Head, Public Communications, Mr Chigbo Anichebe, said in a statement that the beneficiaries were among 47,913 workers presented to the government at the beginning of the privatisation process.
Anichebe said it became imperative for the bureau to make the clarification because of a recent allegation by the National Union of Electricity Employees that 25, 000 former PHCN staff had yet to be paid.
“To effect the payment of the 43, 375 staff, the bureau has remittedN361,024,432,338.48 to the Office of the Accountant General of the Federation.
“That brings the payment made with regards to the validated staff to 94.79 per cent of the workforce. Validation of another 2,382 has been concluded and payments are in process.
“This brings the total number of staff verified to 45, 757 or 95.5 per cent of the purported staff strength of PHCN.
“Furthermore, the committee chaired by the Permanent Secretary, Federal Ministry of Power, is still working tirelessly to validate the remaining 4.5 per cent of the workforce.
“These are purported staff that the committee has so far not been able to obtain documents to validate their claims to being staff of PHCN.
“The union is very much aware of this. Does the union want government to pay ghost workers?” he asked.
Anichebe said that the remaining 4.5 per cent who had yet to be paid had issues of irregular staff identities, duplication in staff numbers and names.
He said some had issues, such as the lack of or irregular Retirement Savings Account (RSA) pin and account numbers.
“In some cases, the beneficiaries failed to sign or thumb-print their benefit statements or inserted wrong passport photographs.
“There were also a few cases of corrupted biometric data or pictures.
“Most of these have been addressed by fresh biometric captures as was done for Enugu Disco. Some staff also failed to supply the newNUBAN account numbers.
“All these, the leadership of labour are aware of, since they are members of the Presidential Committee on the Resolution of PHCNLabour Issues,” he said.
Anichebe called on stakeholders to be patient, stressing that such issues were normal in any exercise involving such huge numbers but that they were being resolved.