22nd August, 2011
The Federal Government has assured workers of Power Holding Company of Nigeria (PHCN) of additional incentives to boost their morale.
The Minister of Power, Professor Barth Nnaji, gave the assurance while fielding questions from journalists after a two-day facility tour of the SouthWest.
Nnaji reiterated governmentâ€™s commitment to additional incentives for the workers, stressing that the payment modality was currently being worked out.
Nnaji said that PHCNâ€™s current monthly revenue of N11 billion and salary profile of over N7 billion made it impossible to regard the organisation as a commercial venture.
According to him, PHCN from all parameters should operate as a viable commercial company rather than a subvention driven government apparatus.
â€œGovernment should not be dipping its hands into its pockets to pay salary when the facility and enabling environment is in place.
â€œThe company should generate enough money to pay its workers. We are working out modality to ensure that gas issues are finally addressed so that the distribution company will be able to generate money to pay its workers,â€ he said.
Nnaji also assured the management of Egbin power station of governmentâ€™s financial support toward resuscitating the stationâ€™s generating unit six, which had been shut down since the past two years.
The minister said that Egbin which produced 25 percent of the nationâ€™s power, must be adequately supported as part of the overall objective of achieving greater power supply.
â€œWhen next we come here, we will commission the unit six and not for investigation and enquiry.
â€œWe are impressed with the ability and commitment of workers in Egbin and on our side, we are also committed in ensuring that Egbin produces at full capacity of 1,320 megawatts before the end of the year,â€ he said.
Mr. Mike Uzoigwe, Chief Executive Officer of Egbin Power Station, said that about N1.5 billion was required to resuscitate the faulty unit six of the power generating plant.
Uzoigwe said that five of the six units of the 27 years old plant, were working at about 80 percent capacity.
He said that governmentâ€™s funding of the plant rose in the last six years due to the intervention fund of the Multi-year tariff order (MYTO).
â€œIn the last two years however, this level of funding has dwindled making it difficult to sustain what we have achieved, we are on a downward trend and do not want to go down.
â€œSome of us who started working here immediately after NYSC and others witnessed this station working at full capacity of 1320 mega watts, we will wish to retire and leave the plant at full capacity,â€ he said.
NAN reports that Egbin Power Station near Lagos, is one of the biggest electricity-generating plants in Nigeria with installed capacity of 1,320 megawatts.