It is very interesting to know why Power Holding Company of Nigeria (PHCN) is issuing imminent warming to government. They have this plan of shutting down power in the country if government continues with planned privatization of the comatose institution, without first addressing labor related grievances.
Threatening the nation with economic paralyzes by shutting down power is something the unions must think twice. They have not earned the right for sympathies from average Nigerians. PHCN has failed many small businesses and families and threats of shutting down cannot cover their poor quality services in the sector over the years.
Sure, government has a duty to ensure that any grievance with the workers is cleared and government must not be boxed into agreeing into some ridiculous demands and not move on with privatizations if that will save the sector.
The ultimatum issued on April 15, 2011 to expire after 14 days must be taken seriously. Government must call for a dialogue but must bargain from the angle of strength and not weakness.
Tekedia understands that government has also failed in this sector and must not just blame PHCN. The Elumelu Report has not been implemented. All the people that mismanaged the funds that PHCN would have used to help the sector remain free – no major prosecution. Any plan to victimize poor Nigerians in PHCN without government owing to their own responsibilities must not happen.
Everyone is to be blamed in this business – government and PHCN. Nigerians as far as they are concerned know PHCN as government, so it is government that has failed. Government cannot work out of the agreement it reached with these workers and must sort them out before it moves on with the privatization. That is how justice is done. You cannot take away their jobs and not pay them compensations they have earned.
PHCN and government must demonstrate leadership here as the nation plans to revitalize this sector which has suffered neglects for decades. Good news for the dialogue which has commenced.