N2.7 Billion Severance: A Ruse To Take Over NERC – Sam Amadi

Chairman, Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC), Dr. Sam Amadi, Akwa Ibom State Governor,Mr Udom Emmanuel and the Vice Chairman NERC, Mr. Mohammed Lawal Bello, during the presentation of certificate of additional generation capacity of electricity by Ibom Power plant to Akwa Ibom state Government in Abuja on Thursday (November 5, 2015)

So, Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC) commissioners have earmarked N2.7 billion to pay themselves? You believe this? Don’t believe it. This is a ruse to undermine my credibility so that a political gang that wants to ensure I don’t continue as NERC Chairman can succeed. This is an obvious script

The Daily Trust journalist who wrote the story notified me that someone has informed his editor that NERC Commissioners are sharing N2.7billion as severance. .I told him the information is false and asked him to come to the office in the morning to get all the documents so he can do an accurate report. He said he would do so but an hour later informed me that his editor wants to do the report without verifying the facts. Daily Trust knows better but that is an agenda that must be executed with dispatch: to scandalize Sam Amadi so that they can illegally remove him or undermine any chance of his continuing in office.

Sam Amadi, Chairman NERC
Sam Amadi, Chairman NERC

Don’t be fooled. This is an attack against Dr Sam Amadi so that he does not continue as NERC Chairman. It is a political attack against a man who has a deserved reputation of incorruptibility.

Now these are the facts:

* Sam Amadi and his team did not approve to share N2.7 billion as severance. We did not even establish a Severance Fund. The Fund was already established by the former commissioners in 2006 and funded then to the tune of N500,000.00

* The details of the Severance Scheme were further provided for by the former Administrator in the Staff Handbook. That Handbook also included allowances on the basis of which severance is calculated for staff

* The new commissioners recognized the resolutions and regulations of previous administrations. Through prudent management of finances we shared sufficient money to open a mortgage facility for every staff and increased the funding of the existing staff severance scheme by N2.billion.

* The funding of the Severance Scheme is mandated by the Pension Act. We selected 3 reputable PFAs, including IBTC and ARM, to manage the fund. The Pension Commission requires that you do an actuarial evaluation of the staff salaries and allowance to determine the amount of the funding of the scheme.

* After the firm of Sada & Associate recommended the amount that will cover the entire employees of the commission, the Commissioners approved N2.7 billion and transferred N2.billion to the fund to cover the obligations that will trigger upon retirement of any staff

* The N2.7 billion is to cover 164 NERC staff
This is the sort of fiscal planning that the Pension Act recommends. Today that government seems to be broke, if a staff of NERC retires now he or she would be paid her lawful entitlement without running to CBN for bailout. This is what PENCOM recommends. We are ahead of everyone in being financially disciplined

* It is lie from hell that we approved N400million and N380million for Chairman and Commissioners. We only resolved that all NERC staff and commissioners shall be paid severance at the rate of 100% of the gross earning as provided for in the schedule to the Pension Act. We pegged our severance to the provision of PENSION Act. nothing extra. So, where is the crime or corruption?
* NERC could increase it pension fund because we have been frugal and honest in managing finances. In 2010 I banned flying of first class cabin in any airline. We are the only agency of government that obeys government circular that no person, from minister to the last person , should fly first class. The difference between first class and business class is huge. In many agencies, commissioners or board members have 3 or 4 cars that are fully fueled and maintained by the agency. In our case, the agency repairs and fuels only one car and the commissioner repairs and fuels the rest. This results in huge savings. I don’t have police or SSS services. I drive myself on weekends. My official car does not stay in my house. It returns to the office after work everyday. I doubt if another public officer does that.

Let me restate. I am an exemplary public officer. I have not taken one kobo bribe. I have not done any contract in any guise. I have not made any decision for pecuniary or personal gain. I have kept the faith. God is my witness. Nigerians who are not murderously after the position of NERC Chairman for political or pecuniary interest will endorse my competence and integrity.

Don’t be fooled


Sam Amadi