From Mathias Okwe, Abuja
THE Federal Government has approved the immediate release of N1.237 billion for the settlement of the pending pensions liabilities of steel workers in the country.
A statement yesterday by Mr. Joe Anichebe, Head, Public Communications of the Bureau of Public Enterprises (BPE) said the National Council on Privatisation (NCP) at its meeting last Monday, October 15, approved the payment of the money as the outstanding pension to workers at the Jos, Katsina and Oshogbo Inland Steel Rolling Mills.
He said the three rolling mills were privatised in 2004 through a hybrid of court-administered liquidation and core investor sales as approved by the NCP.
Anichebe submitted that in consultation with all stakeholders, it was agreed that all available balances in the staff pensions schemes and balances of proceeds from the transactions be used in settling the pensions liabilities of workers of the three steel rolling mills. The pension schemes operated by the three inland rolling mills were said to have been under-funded.
Following a competitive bidding process, Messrs Zuma Steel (West Africa) emerged the winner in Jos Steel Rolling Mill; Dana Holdings for Katsina and Kura Holdings for Oshogbo Steel Rolling Mills.