Former staffers of the defunct National Electric Power Authority (NEPA) and Power Holding Company of Nigeria (PHCN) Monday asked the federal government through Beureau of Public Enterprise (BPE) to pay them their withheld benefits and severance packages.
Speaking in Ibadan through their spokesperson, Mr Olusegun Iyanda, the former NEPA and PHCN workers said they were laid off in 2013 and they are yet to be paid benefits and severance packages.
He stated that the former workers are seeking payment of all their benefits and severance packages through the implementation of report of a committee headed by erstwhile labour leader, Comrade Hassan Sunmonu.
The spokesperson stated that the benefits included 10% equity share of power industry to every employee, pre retirement training within and outside the country which was said to be monitised, contributory pension, insurance and other things as recommended by the Sumonu’s report.
“Our employment was terminated in 2013 based on some policy and everybody were asked to go. Before then, a committee headed by the erstwhile labour leader, Sumonu was set up to plan for our retirements, benefits and severance packages,” he said.
The spokesperson added, “At the end of the day, part payment of our benefits was paid to us having in mind that they will pay the remaining later.
“We later found out that rather than paying all that were supposed to be paid to us, they came out with a form last year that they want to pay, but the amount they wanted to pay was very ridiculous. The form indicated that once we signed it, we are saying government didn’t owe us anything again, aside the stipend they wanted to pay us.”
Mr Iyanda added that, “The form also indicated that signing it means we agree on resolutions of our union and BPE. So, how can we agree on a resolution to a meeting we are not party to? We are no longer in service, we don’t need the union.”
Saying that all they want now is for BPE, which is charged with overall responsibility of implementing Nigerian policy on Privatisation and Commercialisation should pay everything as listed in the Hassan Sumonu’s report without cohesion or intimidation.
“The union deducted two percent from the part payment paid to us. The money was above eight billion naira and it was shared by the union. They still intend to deduct another two percent and some have agreed to take the ridiculous money. But those of us who refused to take the money formed a group and called it Resolute Group,” he said.