…Not Entirely True- AEDC Management
There seems to be an uneasy calm in the Abuja Electricity Distribution Company, (AEDC), as staff are alleged to be working under stagnation and exacting conditions without adequate compensation.
These complaints emanate particularly from the workforce in the lower cadres, who are said to be working through the week and at weekends.
TheFact Nigeria exclusively learnt that the workers have seemingly been groaning and unable to voice out their frustrations for the fear of likely victimization.
A source in the AEDC who spoke on the condition of anonymity said that in spite of the soaring inflation, there has been no increment in the staff salary since 2013, as what was paid in 2013 still remains the same.
In the same vein, there is alleged to be no promotion in the AEDC especially for the junior workers since 2013 when power changed hands from the Power Holding Company of Nigeria, (PHCN), to AEDC while mostly management staff are being promoted.
The source also revealed that there are discrepancies in the salary structure which is top heavy, with the management staff being paid between N800,000 and N1,800,000 monthly while the junior staff doing the bulk of the work are paid ‘peanuts’.
Again, according to the source, the staff work weekdays and weekends (Saturdays) without being given transportation fare and without overtime allowances.
The lack of incentives and motivation is of concern to yet another source within the AEDC who said that not even during Christmas and Sallah periods are they given anything extra from their salaries, besides the tissue papers and dustbins placed everywhere within the premises.
“Productivity allowance which is paid by other organisations at the end of the year is not paid to us here in AEDC. Last year, it was paid 60, not 100 percent. The payment started in August and ended in October,” the source said.
“Another issue is the rebate which is supposed to be given to staff of AEDC to recharge their metres, but we have not been receiving now. During the PHCN days, once there was tariff increase, staff rebate was also increased. Not now again”, another source said.
When asked on efforts to address the issues, yet another source said,: ‘When you complain, they will tell you that if you don’t want, you can resign because others are looking for the jobs you have. We are calling on the Minister of Power and the National Assembly to help us.
“We are tired but we don’t know what to do. Its as if they are taking undue advantage of us because there are no jobs in the country”.
When contacted, AEDC’s General Manager, Corporate Communications, Mr. Oyebode Fadipe said: “AEDC is an organisation that is guided by corporate governance rules and is therefore not given to impulsive arrangements for such critical issues as raised in your questions.
“The welfare of AEDC staff, which includes such things as promotion, salary, productivity etc are corporate governance issues, and are taken seriously by the Company.
“AEDC as an organisation will continue to give priority attention to them as it has always done.
“We encourage anyone that has any evidence of any malfeasance to report it to us so that we can investigate.”
Meanwhile an AEDC top management staff who wouldn’t want his name in print told TheFact Nigeria that annual bonuses have been paid every year.
He said: “Even last year, in the midst of the tight cash flow situation that arose from the minimum remittance order from NERC, a bonus of a minimum of 60% of monthly salary was paid out. In previous years, this has been 100% or more.
“The Labour budget has grown from less than N600m to about N1,100m since take over in 2013. This can be verified in the audited accounts which are public record. In this time, manpower strength has been largely static.
“Yes, we are admittedly demanding more from our staff as we try to close the performance gap with the NERC targets. We are also paying more to those that perform.
“Promotions are based on merit and I am personally very proud of our ability in the past 7 years to create a completely new cadre of middle managers.
“Unfortunately, not everyone has the attitude and nor the ability to make the grade in a performance oriented organisation. We attempt to recognise all deserving staff.”