The Bureau of Public Enterprises (BPE) on Thursday warned all disengaged former workers of the defunct Power Holdings Company of Nigeria (PHCN) to disregard circulars purporting to invite them for a verification exercise.
The bureau said the circulars titled: “BPE: Notice To All Disengaged Staff Of Ex-PHCN Staff” directing the affected ex-PHCN to report at designated venues across the country for verification towards the payment of the entitlement was fraud.
The affected workers were directed to report at their venues of choice with relevant documents and a processing fee of N1,000.
But, the BPE, in a statement by its spokesperson, Amina Othman, said the group behind the fake circulars was represented by one Ndiwe Louis Okechukwu.
Mrs Tukur-Othman said Mr Okechukwu also told the ex-PHCN through the circulars that the BPE had released about 10,000 forms with security numbers to all the zones across the country for the verification exercise.
According to the BPE, the group directed the affected ex-PHCN staff to ensure their completed forms were returned in hard copies, with specific requirements to facilitate the verification exercise.
The BPE said the group had assured the workers that after processing the returned forms, payment of their entitlements would commence immediately until the whole 48,000 staff were fully paid.
The BPE ‘s statement reads in part:
“Our attention has been drawn to attempts by a group of former staff of the defunct Power Holding Company of Nigeria (PHCN) to link the Bureau to a purported verification exercise for the disengaged staff of the entity and they have circulated various correspondences to their members in that regard.
“One of the purported correspondences by the group read in part:
‘Due to the secrecy of our meetings & struggle towards getting our unpaid claims, it is advised that those to fill the expected form should come to the various designated venues with their particulars as prescribed.
“No one is expected to be allowed to make a photo copy of it. Being (sic) it a blank or completed copy. This is for strict compliance please.
“BPE released 10,000 forms to be shared for all the zones across the nation and the beauty of it is that the form (sic) has a security number and the form must be returned as hard copy with the requirements stated therein above and as such should not be photocopied.
“And after the first 10,000 has been processed and payment will commence on it there after another 10,000 will be released as above until they finished the whole 48,000 staff.”’
However, Mrs Tukur-Othman warned unsuspecting members of the public, particularly the ex-PHCN workers, to ignore these correspondences as BPE was not organising any verification exercise whatsoever.
“For the avoidance of doubt, the BPE is not conducting another verification exercise for the former staff of the defunct PHCN and is not in any way connected with the purported verification exercise by the group,” Mrs Tukur-Othman said.
“It must be noted that each time the Bureau carries out verification of former staff of the defunct PHCN, adequate publicity is carried out, with the involvement of the National Union of Electricity Employees (NUEE) and the Senior Staff Association Of Electricity And Allied Companies (SSAEC).”
She said in the purported verification exercise by the group those processeses were neither observed, nor followed.
“BPE wishes to dissociate itself from the purported verification and warns all former staff of the PHCN and general public to beware! To be warned is to be forearmed!” she said.