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BPE Pays N604b Severance Package To Workers In Privatised Companies



Director-General of BPE, Benjamin Dikki

THE Federal Government may have paid over N604b as severance package to workers of privatised companies, since the beginning of privatisation programme, going by indications from the Director General, Bureau of Public Enterprises (BPE), Mr. Benjamin Dikki recently.

Dikki made the disclosure, when he received ‘Crown of Workers’ Prospect of the year 2015’ award presented to him by the Labour Writers’ Association of Nigeria (LAWAN) in Lagos.

He said: “Difficult as the mobilisation and integration of stakeholders in the privatisation programme is, especially where critical decisions of right-sizing staff of enterprises to be privatised are involved, the Federal Government has, through the Labour Policy Framework (LPF), assumed the responsibility of paying staff liabilities, except where the sales purchase agreement dictates otherwise. Over N604b has so far been paid as entitlements to staff of privatisatised enterprises.

“I strongly believe that reform and privatisation are the best options to grow the Nigerian economy by creating an enabling environment for private sector investments”.

Making reference to the successful reform of the Telecoms sector, Dikki said the sector is now contributing more than 20 percent of the nation’s Gross Domestic Products (GDP), apart from the creation of millions of jobs.

“It has equally grown from about 450,000 lines in 2001 to 151,018,624 lines as at August 2015 with tele-density of 107.87 in recent report releases by the NCC,” he said.

The former President General of Trade Union Congress (TUC), Peter Esele, who presented a keynote address titled: “Minimum Wage: To pay, or not to pay”, urged governors to look inward and reduce personnel in their convoys in order to minimise cost.

He said many of the governors made submission for a minimum wage that is above the present N18, 000 minimum wage during the last negotiation. Their submission then was based on the ability to pay.

“Abia State’s submission was N42, 000, and Nasarawa even went above N18, 000. All these states made submissions based on what they could pay and majority of them came up with figures higher than N18, 000,” the former TUC boss said.

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