Fed Govt begins N1b severance payment to ex-PHCN staff

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The Federal Government has begun severance payment for the 408 active staff and retirees/Next-of Kins (NOKs) of the defunct Power Holding Company of Nigeria (PHCN).

These payments, including entitlements amounting to N1.053billion go to those who have been computed and audited by the Office of the Accountant General of the Federation (OAGF), the Bureau of Public Enterprises (BPE),  said yesterday.

BPE’s Director General,  Alex A. Okoh,  expressed delight that following the approval of the National Council on Privatisation (NCP), chaired by the Vice President, Prof. Yemi Osibanjo, the outstanding labour issue in the power sector privatisation was now being resolved.

According to a statement by BPE’s Head of Public Communications, Amino Othman, Okoh said  the current milestone in the   resolution and settlement of the outstanding labour liabilities became possible after the Bureau on March 27, 2018, constituted a Technical Working Group (TWG) comprising the OAGF, PENCOM and others, which worked assiduously culminating in a meeting between the DG of BPE and the OAGF on August 1, 2018 to finalize the payment process.

Earlier, the BPE through the OAGF  had paid 47,041 out of  the 47,913 active staff  of the defunct PHCN  in 35 batches and 2,962  out of the 4,423 retirement and death benefits  to the beneficiaries in 14 batches. This is in accordance with the mandate of the BPE to ensure that labour issues in privatisation are adequately addressed and resolved.

However, given the fact that not all the active staff and retirees/NOKs of the defunct PHCN were verified, the National Council on Privatisation (NCP) at its meeting of April 16, 2015, directed the Bureau to continue with the process of verification and payment of outstanding cases until a final resolution was achieved.

Following the NCP directive and approval, the Bureau conducted the final verification for staff and retirees/NOKs of the defunct PHCN in the six geo-political centers from October 3rd -14th, 2016, resulting in the 408 beneficiaries who are now being paid, the statement said.

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