Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Finally, FG, Labour Resolve PHCN Workers Dispute

At last, the lingering labour issues between electricity workers and the federal government which began since 2010, has finally been resolved.
The resolution meeting which ended at about 11.20pm yesterday took place at the office of the Secretary to the federal government, Anyim Pius Anyim.
The parties agreed that total accrued pension as at June 30, 2007 shall be paid in accordance with the PHCN 2010 conditions of service.
It was also agreed that 25 per cent will be payable to existing PHCN staff while 75 per cent shall be paid into the retirement savings accounts (RSAs).
Furthermore,  a “total accrued gratuity as at June 30, 2012 shall be paid in accordance with the defined benefit scheme stipulated in the PHCN 2010 conditions of service, 15 per cent pension contribution shall be paid from July 1, 2002 through June 30, 2012 in accordance with the provisions of the Pension Reform Act 2004,” the agreement also showed.
It was also agreed that severance allowance shall be paid at 20 per cent of total accrued benefits among others.
Present at the meeting last night were the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Anyim Pius Anyim, Minister of Labour, Emeka Wogu, Minister of State for Power, Zainab Kuchi, President of the Trade Union Congress (TUC), Peter Esele, Secretary General of the National Union of Electricity Employees (NUEE) among others.
The Agreement was signed on behalf of the federal government by the SGF, while Esele and Ajearo signed on behalf of the President of the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC).
In his remarks, Esele noted that “now the government will have no more excuse that the union is preventing the reforms from working. We hope to see 24 hours power supply in Nigeria soon.”

Pray Obasanjo Does Not Endorse You

For those who knew the late Aro of Mopa and former principal private secretary to the late Sir Ahmadu Bello, the Sardauna of Sokoto, Chief Sunday B. Awoniyi - while he was alive,was a journalist delight: every responsible and responsive journalist wanted to engage him. If you are a journalist working for a weekly or periodic magazine, who depends on anecdote leads to tell good stories, you would be luckier to engage Awoniyi in a discussion on any issue – be it politics, economy or religious.
Extremely intelligent with enormous knowledge about anything under the sun, the late former super permanent secretary would take you through stories about one amazing event or the other while his public service lasted. And trust a good magazine journalist: he would always find the content of Awoniyi’ stories very useful, especially in a kind of news story that requires a combination of explanatory and exploratory writings. And I was one of the benefactors of his wealth of experience.
By his conduct and action, the former chairman of the Arewa Consultative Forum (ACF), detested dishonest politicians; he was very hostile to abuse of power by politicians especially by those who played God. From my experiences with him, Chief Awoniyi was not a friend to selfish politicians who derive joy in seeing the poor suffer. The good man died on November 28, 2007 as a result of injuries he sustained from an auto crash along the Abuja-Kaduna road while trying to negotiate many potholes along the expressway.
As a journalist with TheNews/Tempo magazines then, late Awoniyi was one of my reliable and trusted sources of information. He was ever ready to confide in me on many national issues, especially in those days of the numerous wicked and evil political and economic policies of Chief Olusegun Obasanjo’s regime which brought severe pains and hardship to longsuffering Nigerians.
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