BUSI­NESS ‘N16bn needed to pay ex-PHCN work­ers pen­sion’

Daily Trust - - BUSINESS / NEWS - By Si­mon Echewo­fun Sun­day

The Nige­rian Elec­tric­ity Li­a­bil­ity Man­age­ment Com­pany (NELMCO) said that about N16 bil­lion is needed to pay pen­sion al­lowances for the sev­ered staff of the de­funct Power Hold­ing Com­pany of Nigeria (PHCN) in 2014.

The Man­ag­ing Di­rec­tor/Chief Ex­ec­u­tive of the or­gan­i­sa­tion, Dr. Sam Ag­bo­gun, dis­closed this yes­ter­day, at the agency’s head­quar­ters in Abuja while field­ing ques­tions from jour­nal­ists dur­ing a press brief­ing.

Ag­bo­gun said: “On a monthly ba­sis, our aver­age pen­sion is around N1.3bn, in fact, in Fe­bru­ary it was N1.29bn; at N1.3bn, what we have yearly is about 16bn on aver­age.”

He, how­ever, de­cried the lack of funds to meet the de­mand, say­ing: “What is on the budget this year is 14bn, so we are sourc­ing for more for N2bn, and that is to say if we stick by the budget, by the end of Novem­ber we would have fin­ished it.”

Ag­bo­gun also noted that the non-core as­sets in­clud­ing build­ings and landed prop­er­ties of the pri­va­tised PHCN util­i­ties have been trans­ferred to the agency for liq­ui­da­tion but would have to pass through a com­plex process of ver­i­fi­ca­tion be­fore the liq­ui­da­tion.

He, how­ever, dis­missed me­dia re­ports that it has com­menced dis­posal of in­her­ited PHCN as­sets, not­ing that it only sold off scrap and ob­so­lete items com­pris­ing dis­used and de­com­mis­sioned old power sta­tions which PHCN has val­ued and had sought ap­proval for scrap sale.

He also dis­closed that the only near re­sem­blance of a scales trans­ac­tion of a non-core as­set of NELMCO was the PHCN head­quar­ters in Abuja that was re­cently trans­ferred to the Federal Min­istry of Power for use as of­fice.

He stated that the agency has huge li­a­bil­i­ties re­lat­ing to In­de­pen­dent Power Pro­duc­ers (IPPs), legacy debts, lo­cal and for­eign loans, other cred­i­tors and pen­sions, adding: “The quan­tum of NELMCO’s li­a­bil­i­ties as at 31 March 2014 was about N752bn of which N392.2bn is in­ter­a­gency debts that will be trans­ferred to the Debt Man­age­ment Of­fice (DMO) and other min­istries for can­cel­la­tion.”

“These are nec­es­sary in or­der to give ti­tle to the even­tual pur­chasers of these landed as­sets. There­fore, NELMCO can­not sell a sin­gle property with­out the prior ap­proval of the board.”

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