Severed PHCN Workers Protest Liquidation

PHCNSevered workers of the Power Holding Company of Nigeria (PHCN), are protesting ongoing plans to liquidate the company’s assets amidst pending labour issues including outstanding severance benefits of nearly 5,000 workers.

The protest was led by the Chairman of the FCT Council of Electricity Employees, Mr Wisdom Nwachukwu on Monday.

The workers demanded that Federal Government put the liquidation on hold and investigate the rushed process by the Bureau of Public Enterprises and the engagement of a law firm, J.K Gadzama as liquidator, contrary to the provisions of the law on assets liquidation.

They said that 10% equity and 7.5% RSA owed over 50,000 workers by the Federal Government, 16 months outstanding benefits and other outstanding issues in the sub-sector should be concluded before the winding down of the corporate headquarters of the PHCN, as agreed between the Power Sector Labour Union and the Federal Government in 2012.

The Nigeria Union of Electricity Employees (NUEE) on Thursday, urged the Federal Government to suspend the planned liquidation of the unbundled PHCN.

The General Secretary of the Union, Mr Joe Ajearo, made the call during a protest by the workers in Abuja.

Mr Ajaero said that the planned liquidation must not take place without settling outstanding major labour issues in the sector.

Electricity workers reject privatisation

The National Union of Electricity Employees and Senior Staff Association of Electricity Workers have described the ongoing privatization of the power sector “as anti-people and a drawback for the economy”.

Acting President of Nigeria Labour Congress, Joe Ajearo while addressing electricity workers during the national sensitisation tour of the North East Zone in Jos, observed that the country is not ripe for privatization in the sector.

The labour leader argued that privatisation is a post industrialisation process and not developmental as the nation has the resources to develop and nurture the power sector rather than leaving it in private hands to manipulate the people.

The north East Vice President of the union, Hajia Lami Mohammed urged workers to remain calm as the union is making efforts to ensure that all entitlements of the workers are paid before disengagement.

As the power reform exercise continues to generate different views, the major demand of the electricity workers is that all entitlements of the workers must be paid by the government before the privatisation exercise could be discussed.