President Goodluck Jonathan on Wednesday directed the immediate payment of N384 billion severance package to disengagement  staff of the Power Holding Company of Nigeria (PHCN).

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the payment of the disengagement benefit had been the crux of the unresolved labour issues that had set the organised labour against government.

The situation also led to the stalling of the privatisation of PHCN and government reform agenda in the power sector.

The Minister of Labour and Productivity, Mr Emeka Wogu, however, told State House correspondents in Abuja that the President’s approval was in line with the agreement reached between the PHCN labour union and the Government.

Wogu said that the payment of the severance package would commence on Thursday.

“I want to inform you that the agreed benefit accruing to staff of PHCN in the last negotiation between government and the labour union has been approved for payment by the President and Commander In-Chief of the Federal Republic of Nigeria Dr Goodluck Ebele Jonathan (GCFR).

“Payment of the agreed sum will commence immediately and we expect that the proceed leading to the payment will begin by tomorrow, effectively.

“And that brings to an end the issues of labour and non-payment of benefit to an end.”

Wogu assured that the exercise would be carried out in a transparent manner and expressed the hope that the gesture would bring to an end the disagreement between the two parties.

While thanking the PHCN staff for their patience and understanding, the minister appealed to them to support the government towards ensuring the successful implementation of the ongoing power reform programme.