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BPE Confirms Job Cuts in NEPA

By Ahmed I. Shekarau, Daily Trust (Abuja), 23 May 2002

The Bureau of Public Enterprises (BPE) yesterday confirmed that some staff of the National Electric Power Authority (NEPA) would lose their jobs when the enterprise is eventually privatised.

There have been several reports indicating that about 7,000 workers of NEPA would lose their jobs after the privatisation of the Electricity Company.

This has been refuted by several key government officials, including the minister of state for power cud steel, Mallam Murtala Aliyu and some officials of the BPE.

But acting Director-General and Head of Legal Services of the bureau, Mrs.

Irene Chigbue yesterday confirmed, that there would be job losses even as she declined to specify the number of NEPA employees that would eventually be retrenched after the authority is privatised.

Reacting to a recent advertorial placed in some national newspapers by the National Union of Electricity Employees (NUEE) at the bureau's weekly media briefing yesterday in Abuja, Mrs. Chigbue stated that very few job losses will be recorded from the restructuring of NEPA and subsequent privatisation of the new business units to be created from the power utility.

On pension liabilities of the authority, she said the BPE's advisers on NEPA restructuring led by PricewaterhouseCoopers Consortium is conducting an actuarial study of the corporation to ascertain how best to fund the pension gap to the benefit of present and future NEPA workers.

The acting DG condemned the NUEE advertorial, saying it would mislead Nigerians into thinking that NEPA privatisation would translate to a transfer of a public sector monopoly to a private sector monopoly.

She said that several efforts are being made to revamp and develop the Electricity Supply Industry to meet the developmental needs of the nation.

According to her, the Federal Government has spent about $2 billion in the last three years on the rehabilitation of NEPA's power station.