Sometimes, it must seem that ministers live in an alternate reality. The Minister for Power, Professor Barth Nnaji complimented PHCN workers as Nigeria marked Worker’s Day yesterday, saying that they were “miracle workers who squeeze water from stone in view of the peculiar and difficult circumstances in which they operate.” He went on to call the most hardworking and dedicated staff members in Nigeria
One has to wonder whether some sarcasm is at play here. He was also quoted as saying of the workers, “[they produce] a little over 2,000 MW in the best of times, [which] may look meagre in view of the 50,000 staff strength compared with independent power producers like Shell, Agip and AES which generate about the same amount of power with only a few hundreds of workers, it is nothing short of a miracle that they produce such a quantum of power.”
It may be the power chief extending an olive branch to PHCN workers who have been very unhappy with the change of hands in the power sector, which led to senior staff members being fired. They have been publicly feuding with each other, and it has led to threats of strikes that have been averted.