BPE reveals over N409.9bn was used to pay ex-PHCN workers

The Federal Government has so far spent N409,915,331,675.45 on the payment of severance and death benefits of ex-employees of the defunct Power Holding Company of Nigeria, the Bureau of Public Enterprises announced on Monday.

BPE disclosed this in a statement issued in Abuja by the bureau’s Head of Public Communications, Amina Tukur, entitled, “FG spends N409,915,331,675.45 to settle ex-PHCN workers – BPE.”

It explained that the payment streams were categorised into severance payments to the former active staff of PHCN; and payment of the PHCN retirees/death benefits which the PHCN could not pay before it handed over to the successor companies.

The bureau stated that for active staff, the total number submitted to the BPE by the PHCN was 47,913 and out of the number, 47,275 representing 99 per cent had been fully paid.

“These were forwarded to the Office of the Accountant-General of the Federation for payment in 36 batches,” BPE stated.

It noted that out of the 638 outstanding active staff, there were 167 duplicate and blank spaces on the list; 414 never turned up for verification; 25 had been audited and were awaiting cash-backing; nine with initial documentation problems would soon be audited; while 23 had documentation problems.

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The bureau said in the course of the verification, 81 cases were found to be short-paid, which had been corrected, while 180 cases recently treated and recomputed for short–payment were awaiting cash backing.

It added,

“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.”

It said this was because 15 of them had errors in serial numbering, 66 had possible duplicates in submissions, which 14 of them had been recently audited.

BPE stated that 196 had been cleared and were awaiting cash-backing, adding that 392 had also been cleared and sent to the Pension Transitional Arrangement Directorate for pension-related benefits.

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It said 694 had been sent to the Presidential Initiative for Continuous Auditing for gratuities and deceased benefits.

On the two per cent union deductions, the bureau said a total of N7,485,291,722.89 had already been paid to the defunct PHCN unions account from batches one to 36.

It also stated that the bureau had already written to the accountant-general of the federation to credit the unions’ account for the remaining deductions.

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