FG, PHCN workers resolve severance package dispute

The Federal Government on Wednesday announced that it had resolved the disagreement with workers of the Power Holding Company of Nigeria.

The workers had on Monday embarked on a nationwide protest following the Federal Government’s decision to hand over share certificates to the core investors in the PHCN successor companies.

A statement issued by the Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Power, Dr. Goodnews Igali, said the payment implementation committee had resolved all contending issues and promised that before the end of this week, at least over 38,000 PHCN workers would have been paid their terminal benefits.

He blamed the hiccups experienced in the course of the payment on the large number of people involved, adding that the government had enough fund to complete the process, but was being careful to ensure that money was not paid into wrong accounts.

Igali commended the PHCN labour unions for their show of patriotism, just as he said, of the 47,000 employees, 45, 366 persons had so far been captured, and promised that the remaining persons would be captured after the Office of the Accountant-General of the Federation had finalised its processes.

The Accountant-General of the Federation, Mr. Jonah Otunla, said at the end of the negotiation that his office was always ready to pay all outstanding payments after due processes had been complied with.

He also reiterated the resolve of the government to honour all obligations to the PHCN workers.

The Secretary General, National Union of Electricity Employees, Mr. Joe Ajaero, who spoke on behalf of the union, blamed the government for sending wrong signals as to what led to the stoppage of the payment midway.

He said on the part of labour, the hope was that in two weeks, the government should complete the process as they were not expecting it to be indefinite.

Ajaero urged all members of the union nationwide to suspend their planned industrial action and protest in order to watch if the government would be committed to ensuring prompt payment of the entitlements to its members.

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