Former workers of the defunct Power Holding Company of Nigeria, PHCN, stormed the premises of the Bureau of Public Enterprise, BPE, on Thursday and shut down business activities for several hours to protest non-payment of their severance package.
The protesting workers, led by the president of the National Union of Electricity Employees, NUEE, Comrade Mansur Musa, besieged the agency at 9am chanting solidarity songs and displayed posters with various inscriptions.
The workers said during the protest that their unsettled terminal benefits include severance payment, retirement gratuity, death benefits, and pension deduction among others entitlements have not been paid by the government.
Comrade Musa said during the protest that since most of the workers were disengaged following the privatisation of the PHCN in 2013, the government has refused to pay them their gratuity and pensions which has run into some billions of naira.
Musa who disclosed that most of the ex-workers have died while waiting for their severance package to be paid to them, stressed further that those who are still alive are living in abject poverty since they have no other means of livelihood.
According to him, “We are here to demand full payment of entitlement. Since the privatisation two years ago, our people have not been paid their severance package. He lamented that this BPE has done verification of our members severally, yet they are yet to pay.”
Musa, who described the power privatisation exercise as a flop, said Nigerians are yet to enjoy steady power supply because of high level of corruption inherent in the sector.
Lamenting the worsening state of electricity supply in recent times, Musa said, “It is true that they promised that after privatisation, power will be stable. But they took over when power generation was 3,800MW now we are generating about 2000MW two years after.