–As BPE Sources N1.1 Billion To Settle Ex-PHCN Workers

The Bureau of Public Enterprises (BPE) has accused some state governments of frustrating the Federal Government’s planned allotment of 10 percent equity shareholding in the privatised power Distribution Companies (DisCos) to the workers.

The Director-General of the BPE, Mr. Alex Okoh, made the accusation during interactive session with officials of the two trade unions in the electricity sector led by the General Secretary of the Nigerian Union of Electricity Employees (NUEE), Comrade Joe Ajearo.

Mr.Okoh explained that barely three years after privatisation of the power sector, some state governments have not responded to the request by the Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC) to provide details of their investments in the distribution companies prior to their privatisation.

He said that the requested information would enable NERC undertake evaluation of all state government investment in the distribution network in their states.

 According to him, it is only when NERC “finishes the assignment that the BPE can allot to workers, state government and whatever is left would now be reserved for Initial Public Offering (IPO) when the companies become profitable.”

“We are working with NERC to conclude this assignment. NERC has assured that by the end of June 2017, it would take a final decision on the matter.”

In a statement by the BPE Head of Public Communications, Chukwuma Nwokoh, the Director General assured the unionists that he would address the outstanding labour issues emanating from the privatisation of the power assets.

He appealed to the union officials to at all times manage pressures from their members as the Bureau was working round the clock to ensure that the N1.1bn required for the payment of the outstanding entitlements of the ex-workers of PHCN who have been verified was released.

Earlier, the Secretary-General of NUEE, Mr. Joe Ajaero had pledged to work with the Bureau for a successful closure of all the labour issues in the power privatisation.