Labour Petitions Minister Over Moves To Liquidate PHCN

Oorganised labour in the electricity industry has petitioned Mr. Emeka Wogu, Labour Minister, over perceived illegal liquidation of Power Holding Company of Nigeria, PHCN, by Prof. Barth Nnaji, Minister of Power.

It warned that if the plan was carried out, it would amount to an illegality since PHCN, as a limited liability company, could only be liquidated through a court process.

Under the umbrella of National Union of Electricity Employees, NUEE, labour argued that when it became imperative, issues affecting creditors, debtors, employees and retirees must be resolved to avoid unprecedented industrial unrest in the sector.

NUEE, in the petition issued by its General Secretary, Mr. Joe Ajaero, read in part: “It is with astonishment that we read on the pages of newspapers of the alleged liquidation of PHCN by Minister of Power.

“From all intents and purposes, the plan, if carried out, will amount to an illegality because PHCN, as a limited liability company, can only be liquidated through a court process. “Before this is done, issues affecting creditors, debtors, employees and retirees, must be resolved. Information at our disposal reveals that a major step towards achieving this ominous aim is to post out all staff from PHCN corporate headquarters, Abuja.

“It has, therefore, become pertinent that we alert you of this ugly development which will definitely threaten the industrial peace in the industry. “As much as it is our desire to maintain peace in the industry, we cannot watch helplessly as concerted efforts are being made by the Minister to create avoidable crisis in the sector.

“It is amazing that the Minister is abandoning tripartism as a veritable tool in resolving issues relating to the work force of PHCN, knowing fully that labour issues are on the front burner of Hassan Sunmonu Negotiation Committee. We are sure this is not the policy of President Goodluck Jonathan.

“We hope you will counsel the Power Minister against his deliberate plan to scuttle the peaceful engagement which is on-going in the power sector between government and PHCN in-house unions.”