Uche Usim, Abuja
The Bureau of Public Enterprises (BPE) on Monday disclosed that N409,915,331,675.45 had so far been spent on the payment of severance and death benefits to ex-workers of the defunct Power Holding Company of Nigeria (PHCN).
Its Head of Public Communications, Mrs. Amina Othman-Tukur, explained in a statement that the payment streams were categorised into two; severance payments to former active staff of PHCN and the payment of PHCN retirees/death benefits which PHCN could not settle before it handed over to the successor companies.
According to her, for active, the total number submitted to the BPE by PHCN was 47, 913 and out of the number, 47,275 representing 99 percent have been fully paid. These were forwarded to the Office of the Accountant General of the Federation (OAGF) for payment in 36 batches.
BPE said out of the 638 outstanding active staff, there are 167 duplicate and blank spaces on the list, 414 persons that never turned up for verification, 25 that have been audited and are awaiting cash-backing, nine others with initial documentation problems to be audited soon and 23 that have documentation problems.
Mrs Othman-Tukur added that, in the course of the verification, 81 cases were found to be short-paid, which have been corrected and cash-backed, while 180 cases recently treated and recomputed for short–payment are awaiting cash backing.
She stated: “4,438 PHCN retirees/NOKs have been submitted to BPE in eight batches and to date, 3,131 representing, 71 per cent of the beneficiaries have been fully paid their entitlements with 1,307 yet to be paid. This is as a result of 15 of them having error in serial numbering, 66 possible duplicates in submissions, out of which 14 of them have been recently audited, and 196 have been cleared and are awaiting cash-backing, 392 cleared and sent to the Pension Transitional Arrangement Directorate (PTAD) for pension related benefits and 694 to the Presidential Initiative for Continuous Auditing (PICA) for Gratuities and Deceased Benefits.
“On the two per cent union deductions, the Bureau said a total of N7,485,291,722.89 has already been paid to the defunct PHCN unions account from batches 1-36 while the Bureau has already written to the Accountant General of the Federation (AGF) to credit the unions’ account for the remaining deductions.