• Friday, May 24, 2024
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BPE moves to clear severance liabilities of defunct PHCN workers

Bureau of Public Enterprises

The Bureau of Public Enterprises (BPE) is working closely with the Accountant General’s Office to ensure the payment of outstanding severance liabilities arising from the 2013 privatisation of the power sector, in accordance with agreements made with labour unions.

Ignatius Ayewoh, the acting director-general of BPE, disclosed this when he paid a courtesy visit to Joe Ajero, president of the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC).

The visit was to seek the labour union’s collaboration in the ongoing reform and privatisation programme of the Federal Government, Amina Tukur Othman, BPE head of public communications noted in a statement.

Ayewoh emphasised the importance of collaboration with the labour unions to ensure the welfare of workers during and after government agency reforms.

While he was grateful for the union’s past support, he called for a continued partnership with the bureau, particularly as a member of the Technical Committee (TC) of the National Council on Privatisation (NCP).

Highlighting BPE’s previous successes in various sectors of the economy such as telecoms, banking, Eleme petrochemical, and port terminal concessions, Ayewoh stated that the bureau’s current strategy was focused on implementing public-private partnership (PPP) and concessioning in its transactions.

Ajero thanked the acting DG for the visit and pledged the collaboration of the NLC with the bureau in its reform activities.

The BPE had disclosed in the past that it spent about N409.9 billion on the payment of severance benefits to ex-workers and death benefits of the defunct Power Holding Company of Nigeria (PHCN).

The payment streams were categorised into two: the severance payments to former active staff of PHCN and payment of PHCN retirees/death benefits which PHCN could not pay before it was handed over to the successor companies.

But in 2023, the BPE, along with other sister agencies, conducted a verification exercise for the payment of the agreed 16-month severance benefits to former staff of the defunct PHCN, including certified next-of-kin of deceased ex-staff.