PHCN Workers Want Nnaji Droped As Ministerial Nominee

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Electricity workers nationwide have called on President Goodluck Jonathan and the National Assembly to drop Prof Bath Nnaji from the list of ministerial nominees, alleging that he is rather an impediment to the much desired reformation in the power sector.

Mr Temple Banigo, chairman of National Union of Electricity Employees (NUEE), Rivers and Bayelsa States chapter who made the call in an interview with The Tide On Sunday in Port Harcourt said Prof. Nnaji who was Presidential Adviser on Power and Chairman, Presidential Committee on Power, “failed woefully in both service delivery and advocacy to the president.

The NUEE boss said Prof Nnaji who is nominated as Minister of Power was only interested in making undue advantage of his position for the selfish development of his private power company “Geomatrics Power Ltd” instead of the on-going reformation by the present administration.

A release from the Eastern zone of NUEE which was made available to us stated: “Barth Nnaji for the records owns Geometrics Power Ltd and Aba Power, has been licensed to generate and distribute electricity for more than five years, yet he has not been able to generate beyond zero megawatts.

“Worse still, he has continued to engage PHCN and the staff in a battle of life and death to take over the distribution sector of part of the Eastern states of the country,” the release said.

The release which was signed by Akoh Cyprain Ndubuisi, Senior Assistant General Secretary NUEE East, maintained that should Prof. Nnaji be made the power minister, he should be prepared to work alone as PHCN workers nationwide would comply with the ‘sit at home’ order of the union’s national leadership.

It would be recalled that in a bid to reposition the power sector President Jonathan appointed a world acclaimed expert, Prof. Nnaji as his adviser on power and also chairman, Presidential Committee on Power, but while the appointment was hailed by some Nigerians, workers of the Power Holding Company of Nigeria view it differently as the relationship between the Presidential Adviser and the workers has remained controversial as the workers have embarked on series of industrial actions since Prof Nnaji’s tenure.

The House of Representatives on Wednesday resolved to intervene in the planned strike by electricity workers’ over 50 per cent emolument which had remained a subject of dispute between the workers and Federal Government.

Tajudeen Yusuf, member of the House from Kogi moved motion which was unanimously adopted that the house should intervene in the demand by workers in the power sector for a 50 per cent pay-off emolument due to the deregulation of the sector.

NUEE planned to embark on a warning strike that would be disastrous to the nation.

Chris Oluoh