The Director General of the Bureau of Public Enterprises (BPE), Mr. Benjamin Ezra Dikki has stated that the committee chaired by the Permanent Secretary, Federal Ministry of Power has verified to date, 45,136 staff for payment out of 47,913 staff. Similarly, he said BPE has remitted to the Office of the Account General of the Federation (OAGF) a total of N370billion for payment of the former employees of the defunct Power Holding Company of Nigeria (PHCN).
Dikki made the disclosure during a chat with the media after he unveiled the agency’s 2014 work plan in Abuja last Tuesday. The DG noted that after the Bureau’s nationwide field verification of the possible 4,194 PHCN retirees, 2,931 or their next of kin have been verified leaving 1,163 yet to be verified.
He said the verification committee and the Bureau were making extra effort to ensure that the outstanding pensioners were verified and paid their entitlements expeditiously.
The BPE boss advised the pensioners or their next of kin who had not been verified to do so before Wednesday 2nd April 2014.
He said that out of the earlier 47,913 staff list obtained from PHCN, 45,136 verified staff entitlements have been cash- backed to the Office of the Accountant General of the Federation for payment.
Dikki explained that 338 on the retirees list were exited staff, while 21 were cases of duplication. He stated that 262 cases were currently being processed and 551 had already been recommended for validation by the Verification Committee on Payment of PHCN Severance Payment following a nationwide verification exercise.
The DG said that President Goodluck Jonathan made it a priority and demonstrated great commitment in resolving labor issues in the power sector. He noted that apart from committing the entire proceeds realized from the sale of power assets for the payment of the workers’ terminal benefits, government had at the initial stage of the transaction, released N57bn to take care of the workers’ pension. This was coming after the Government had increased the workers’ salary by 50 percent and regularized all casual staff of the defunct PHCN.
Government had also released over N6 billion to the union leadership as check-off dues from the staff entitlements.