By Thompson ABISOLA
The Federal Government has released about N1.05 billion to settle outstanding claims and entitlements of 408 staff and retirees of the defunct Power Holding Company of Nigeria (PHCN).
The Director-General of the Bureau of Public Enterprises (BPE) Mr Alex Okoh said on Thursday in Abuja that the payments were approved by the National Council on Privatisation (NCP), chaired by Vice President Yemi Osinbajo.
Okoh in a statement issued said that the settlement of the outstanding liabilities became possible after the Bureau on March 27, 2018, constituted a Technical Working Group, that worked with the Office of the Accountant-General of the Federation to work out the payment.
Prior to now, the Federal Government after privatising the power company had paid 47,041 out of the 47,913 staff of the defunct PHCN in 35 batches.
Also, 2,962 out of the 4,423 retirees of the company were paid and death benefits also paid to beneficiaries in 14 batches.
However, the remaining workers and retirees could not be paid because the government could not verify their claims as workers or past workers of the PHCN.
The NCP at its meeting of April 16, 2015, directed BPE to continue with the process of verification and payment of outstanding cases until a final resolution was achieved.
Following the NCP directive, the Bureau conducted the final verification in the six geo-political centres from October 3 to 14, 2016, resulting in the 408 beneficiaries who are now scheduled for payment.