Power Holding Company of Nigeria (PHCN) workers staged a walkout during a meeting with two ministers and some top government officials. The meeting held at the PHCN head office, Abuja, was aimed at fine-tuning negotiations between government and labor for the privatization of PHCN. The Ministers present were the Minister of Power, Prof. Bart Nnaji, and his counterpart in the Labor and Productivity, Chief Emeka Wogu, were at the meeting.
A statement from the Ministry of Power, signed by the Special Adviser to the Minister of Power, Mr. Ogbuagu Anikwe, said the government-labour negotiating team requested Nnaji to address the workers on the government’s position on the matter. The statement said, “As early as 8am, the conference hall of PHCN was filled to capacity. However, midway into the session, someone came to ring a bell to announce that the General Secretary, National Union of Electricity Employees, Mr. Joe Ajaero, has directed all workers in the hall to leave with immediate effect. “Many of the workers immediately complied. This, however, did not deter the team, which went on to deliver the message to the management and a few workers who were left behind.”
The meeting, which lasted for two hours, was aimed at giving the ministers and the negotiating panel a hearing as well as to brief them about the final phase of the power sector reform exercise. Nnaji stated that he came to have a face-to-face interaction with the workers and to answer questions that might be agitating their minds over the ongoing privatization exercise.