The Federal Government and the National Union of Electricity Employees (NUEE) have agreed that payment of severance benefits to former workers of the Power Holding Company of Nigeria (PHCN) would be completed by the end of January.
This is contained in a resolution reached at the end of a reconciliatory meeting in response to a 14-day ultimatum letter by the NUEE.
The resolution was signed by Dr Clement Illoh, Permanent Secretary, Federal Ministry of Labour and Productivity.
Others were Ambassador Godknows Igali, Permanent Secretary, Federal Ministry of Power, (FMP), Mrs Omojola Martina, Representative of Bureau of Public Enterprises (BPE), and Mr Mansur Musa, National President, NUEE.
Mr Olusegun Babatunde, General Secretary NUEE, Mr Bede Opara, President General, Senior Staff Association of Electricity and Allied Companies (SSAEAC) and Mr Abiodun Ogunsegha, General Secretary, SSAEAC also signed.
They resolved that: “The allegation of non-payment of entitlements to staff covering July 2012 should be referred back to the implementation committee for conclusion within January 2014.
“The complaint of victimisation of labour leaders to be handled by the FMP and BPE in accordance with extant regulations within January 2014.
“ Workers who are being owed salary arrears and have not been severed will be paid by the federal government and should stay in position until they are paid.
“The FMP and BPE would fund a workshop to be organised by Federal Ministry of Labour and Productivity in the first week of February 2014 for the new investors, unions and other stakeholders in the industry.’’
They also resolved that all admitted casuals would also be paid on or before the end of March, 2014 while progressive payments would be tracked
It directed that all pensions should be processed and payments effected accordingly.
“Furthermore, the 7.5 per cent employer pension contribution of July, 2012 to October 31, 2013 will be paid.
“Payment of deductions from November 1, 2013 to date will be paid by the new operators into workers Retirement Savings Accounts (RSA).
“BPE and FMP are to fast track approval and payment of death benefits to beneficiaries within one month’’, it was further agreed.
On staff re-engagement letters said to be withheld by some new investors, it was agreed that the BPE should submit comprehensive list of the re-engaged staff for confirmation.
It also directed the implementation committee to set up verification subcommittee to establish payment of certain entitlements listed in agreement of Oct. 2013 and identify those stations that had paid or not.
The resolution stated that any reduction in the stoppage of salaries and wages of staff by the new investors was a violation of Section 21 of the Electric Power Sector Reform Act 2005.
It directed that such deductions should be reversed by defaulting operators where it occurred.
“BPE should submit the list of the 483 unclear Retirement Savings Account (RSA) Holders to the technical sub-committee for rectification.