By DAVID ONWUCHEKWA, Nnewi
The Leadership of the National Union of Electricity Employees (NUEE) has expressed its determination not to surrender to the Federal Government until the N400 billion exit package owed its members nation-wide are paid to the last kobo.
The National President of NUEE, Mr. Mansur Musa, made the disclosure at its 2-day, 3rd annual leadership-training programme held in Anambra State.
Corroborating the assertion, General Secretary of NUEE, Mr. Joe Ajaero, said government has no money to pay off PHCN workers, but was rather, deceiving Nigerians that it has the money.
Ajaero challenged government to pay the terminal benefits right away if the money is available as claimed, saying the union is equally demanding for 10 per cent equity stake.
He stated that Nigeria was practicing what he called a prodigal economy, adding that no reform had ever succeeded in the nation “except during the Buhari/Idiagbon administration which did not last.”
“Is it only PHCN that is not working? What about the school system, security, politics and all other sectors? Are they working? The privatization exercise objective is defeated. Our entitlements are over N400 billion but our annual revenue from the company is over N300 billon.
Then you sold PHCN at N200 billion and the aim is defeated,” he said. He noted that the management of the PHCN should have been fine-tuned instead of outright privatization, saying that it was the worst decision government had ever taken.
The NUEE boss reasoned that if government had wanted a robust sector, it should have allowed other competitors in the power sector, alleging that it was trying to penetrate the union by promoting some workers to General Manager cadre to break its ranks.
Indeed, Musa lamented that the union members were not given the opportunity to buy 10 percent equity shares following the commercialization of the Power Holding and Company Nigeria Limited (PHCN).
He said the company was sold at pittance which would not bring the envisaged reform government promised by government “We need reform but not the reform that government is doing because if proper reform takes place, we will see it.
Government has sold the whole of this industry at nothing and is likely to affect the economy negatively. Reform is all about development but people holding the resources of this nation are very few. We only existing but not living,” Musa said.
He said that the union would not give government ultimatum yet until it failed to meet the obligation of paying pay the union workers their entitlements.