Nigeria to pay N384bn severance package to sacked PHCN staff on June 17- Minister

Promises to fund the power sector to realise its dream.

The Federal Government said on Tuesday that it would pay the N384 billion severance package to disengaged electricity workers on June 17.

The Minister of Power, Chinedu Nebo, gave the assurance during an official inspection of Egbin Power Station in Lagos.

“Very soon your severance package or entitlement will hit your various accounts by June 17 and I promise that nobody is going to find anything less than what has been agreed. We hope to start payment of workers benefits by June 17, which is the tentative date we are working on. We need a lot of support from workers in areas of adequate information on the forms given to them,’’ he said.

Mr. Nebo said that for several months now the technical and implementation committees that were set up to look into the issues of workers’ entitlements were working diligently to ensure effective result. He said that a concrete agreement had been reached with the leadership of the union to ensure that what was agreed on workers severance package was paid when due.

He, however, implored workers to ensure that all forms given to them were signed and filled adequately, adding that nobody would be omitted from the entitlements.

The minister said that the Ministry of Power had issues with operational cost allocation, which was not captured in the 2013 budget, adding that it was thought that the on-going privatisation would be completed before the 2013 budget.

“The only way to move the sector forward is to involve private sector participation. When this sector is fully privatised, no Chinese or Indian will take over the full operation of the duties of Nigerians,” he said.

Mr. Nebo promised to fund the power sector to realise its dream, adding that Egbin Power Station contributed 25 per cent of total power generation of the country.

Mike Uzoigwe, the Chief Executive Officer of Egbin Power Station, said that its major challenge was funding and urged the minister to ensure its adequate funding. He said that the station, with installed capacity of 1,320 mega watts, was generating 1,080 in five units.

He assured that Unit Six that was damaged for years would pick up by November, adding that the plant was operated for 27 years without adequate and timely overhauls.

“We (government) are, however, making very ingenious attempt in circumventing the consequences of obsolesce. We will continue in this direction dedicatedly until the privatisation is fully realised.”

This is the first time that the minister is coming to Lagos on projects inauguration and inspection since he assumed duty in 2013.

(NAN)


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