Over 150 workers hitherto in the employ of the Enugu Electricity Distribution Company as contract staff have been sent to the labour market following the acquisition of the Aba Ring-fenced Area by the Aba Power Limited (APL Electricity Company) a couple of months ago.
It was gathered that those disengaged were outsourced to Aptis Management Partners by EEDC before the Aba Power Limited (APLE) took over the distribution of electricity of the zone.
Checks show that Aptis Management Partners is a human resources consulting firm domiciled in the South-East, and offers business advisory, outsourcing service, recruitment and assessment, learning and development, and payroll administration.
One of the affected workers, who declined to be mentioned, told our correspondent that EEDC engaged him, among others, as casual workers, and they had hoped to be employed permanently after many years as casual workers.
He said when APL Electricity Company acquired the place from Aptis, they were given hopes of being reabsorbed, only to be fired via a text message on October 1, 2022.
The text message read, “Dear Staff, You are requested to withdraw your services to APL effective October 1, 2022. You will receive further communication from APTIS. Management.”
He said, “We were over 150 in Aba alone. We were all out-sourced contract workers under EEDC. I worked there for over five years. They were promising to absorb us.
“About four months ago, we were called for interviews. We did, hoping that we would be absorbed eventually. Shortly after the interview, on October 1 this year, all of us that wrote the exam woke up and met messages on our phones announcing our disengagement. The message further stated that we would hear further instructions from the management of Aptis.
“Since then, we are hanging. Our anger is that when they (APL) came newly, they gave us hopes that we would be employed, so we remained. Otherwise, we would have gone to EEDC operating in other states. But now it is too late. It is a big problem. All of us are still in shock.”
He said there was no pay-off or allowances to them after serving EEDC for about five years.
Recall that Geometric Power took over the Aba Ring-fenced Area after nine-years’ legal tussle with Enugu DisCo over ownership of the area.
The chairman/founder of Geometric Power Limited, Engr Bath Nnaji, had said during the takeover that his company paid $26 million re-acquisition price for the facility.
The National Council on Privatisation (NCP) through the Bureau of Public Procurement (BPE) handed over the asset to Geometric Power during a ceremony held in Abuja recently.
Emeka Eze, head of public relations, EEDC, did not respond to a message sent to him over the issue.
APLE is a pioneer private sector licensee of the Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission for electricity distribution in Nigeria.