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N384b PHCN workers’ pay: No cause for alarm – FG

By on March 9, 2013

The Federal Government,  yesterday, assured Power Holding Company of Nigeria workers that there was no cause for alarm over the payment of their severance benefits, as the implementation committee raised by the administration was still working on the matter.

The workers had become agitated that the government announced a unilateral sum of N384 billion for payment of their benefits without engaging them in the process.

However, the Minister of Labour and Productivity, Chief Emeka Wogu, told Satuday Vanguard in an exclusive interview that the workers had no reason to worry as the government was conscious of the need to pay them appropriate benefits as stipulated in the agreement reached between them and the government.

Wogu explained that all portions of the agreement reached with the workers would be implemented to the letter and that the workers, as a mark of government’s commitment to transparency and accountability in the privatization process.

The Minister said, “First, there was an agreement between the government and labour and the items of agreement were noted down and signed.

“At the end of the day, those agreed portions will definitely be monetized. Secondly, there are agencies of government involved in the calculation. The central body that plays a central role in the whole process is the Bureau of Public Procurement, BPE.

There is an implementation Committee that is working on the matter.
“The reason for putting an implementation committee is that where there are issues of complaint, it can look at the issues. Already, we are planning to meet with Labour to discuss it.

“The committee is still doing its work and any matter that arises will be handled appropriately by the committee,” he assured.

On what the government has been doing to check rising unemployment in the country, Wogu announced that the establishment of the National Policy on Employment Creation, NAPEC, had led to the creation of over 200,000 jobs.

According to him NAPEC identifies about 15 sectors of the economy where jobs could be created and makes provisions on how to achieve it.

The Minister said, “The Federal Government is pursuing the implementation of that NAPEC policy and ithas created jobs in various sectors already.

“As a follow up, we came up with another one called the Local Employment Content Initiative, which has made it compulsory for ministries and departments and agencies of government, which are embarking on contracts and projects to declare the number of jobs that are to be created and engage Nigerians.
“And between the time it came into effect between 2011 and 2012, several hundreds of thousands of jobs have been created. No fewer than 200,000 jobs have been created by that process. This is without prejudice to the jobs created by other sectors,” Wogu stated.