The Minister of Power, Barth Nnaji was denied entry into the PHCN corporate headquarters in Maitama, Abuja, on Wednesday by members of the company’s union who were opposed to the take-over of the Transmission Company of Nigeria (TCN) by Manitoba Hydro International, a Canadian company.
The minister was in the company of officials of the firm apparently on an inspection tour of the TCN which operates from the PHCN headquarters.
According to media reports, the North-Central zonal organising secretary of the National Union of Electricity Employees (NUEE), Temple Iworima, said the unions are against the imminent takeover of TCN by Manitoba, owing to its alleged disagreement with government over unresolved labour issues.
“Agreements on severance packages, pension and gratuity for the workers are still outstanding after 18 months of negotiations. It was agreed upon by both parties through the Hassan Sunmonu-led negotiation panel that there would be no take-over of the PHCN until labour issues are fully resolved,” Mr Iworima said.
Nnaji says Takeover is a done deal
Meanwhile Mr Nnaji said that the takeover of the transmission company of Nigeria by Canadian company Manitoba hydro is a done deal.
At a news conference in Abuja, the Minister said government has not been successful in the running of the power sector and the way forward is private sector participation to help the country achieve more robust returns.
He however assured the union that all payments due them will not be withheld and also inaugurated a committee to investigate the status of the pension scheme in the power sector and identify officers involved in acts of misconduct.
Pension scams have been rocking various sectors and the Power Holding Company of Nigeria seems to have come into the picture with allegations of N200 billion scam in the pension fund.