No fewer than 408 retirees of the defunct Power Holding Company of Nigeria (PHCN) have started receiving their entitlements.

The payment started after the active retirees or their next of kins have been computed and verified by the Office of the Accountant General of the Federation (OAGF).

The Director General of Bureau of Public Enterprises (BPE), Mr. Alex A. Okoh, said the sum N1, 053,402,476.03 had been released for the payment.

Okoh expressed delight that following the approval of the National Council on Privatisation (NCP), chaired by Vice President Yemi Osibanjo, the implementation is leading to the resolution of “this outstanding labour issue in the power sector privatisation”.

He said the current milestone in the resolution and settlement of the outstanding labour liabilities became possible after the Bureau intervened.

He said BPE constituted a Technical Working Group (TWG) comprising the OAGF, PENCOM, NELMCO, NUEE, and SSAEAC & NUP which worked assiduously culminating in a meeting between the DG of BPE and the OAGF on August 1, 2018 to finalize the payment process.

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It would be recalled that prior to now, the Bureau of Public Enterprises (BPE) through the OAGF had paid 47,041 out of the 47,913 active staff of the defunct PHCN in 35 batches and 2,962 out of the 4,423 retirement and death benefits to the beneficiaries in 14 batches.

This is in line with the mandate of the BPE to ensure that labour issues in privatisation are adequately addressed and resolved.

However, given the fact that not all the active staff and retirees/NOKs of the defunct PHCN were verified, the National Council on Privatisation (NCP) at its meeting of April 16, 2015, directed the Bureau to continue with the process of verification and payment of outstanding cases until a final resolution was achieved.

Following the NCP directive and approval, the Bureau conducted the final verification for staff and retirees/NOKs of the defunct PHCN in six geo-political centres from October 3rd -14th, 2016, resulting in the 408 beneficiaries who are now being paid.