Wed, Sep

Blackout: Ngige Calls For Emergency Meeting With Striking Electricity Workers

Top Stories

The Minister of Labour and Employment, Chris Ngige, on Wednesday evening, convened an emergency meeting with the National Union of Electricity Employees (NUEE), who had shut down services nationwide services at the kaduna Regional Headquarters of the Transmission Company of Nigeria (TCN) leading to total blackout. The minister invited the union with the aim of mediating and resolving their grievances. The TCN Kaduna Regional station covers four northwestern states, Kaduna, Kebbi, Sokoto, and Zamfara. The action of NUEE in collaboration with the Senior Staff Association Electricity and Allied Companies (SSAEAC), led to total blockout across states including Lagos, Ogun, Kano, Katsina, Jigawa, kaduna, kebbi, sokoto, Zamfara, Abuja and others. The impact of the strike began unfolding at 10 am Wednesday when the grid dropped from 4,149 Megawatts recorded at 6 am to 2,600MW. The grid capacity continued to drop as more workers at transmission stations downed tools.

It fell further to 939.4MW at 3 pm and finally recorded zero generation at 4 pm.

The members are protesting the nonpayment of outstanding arrears owed to former workers of the now-defunct Power Holding Company of Nigeria, suspension of conditions of service and career path for workers, and the directive by the TCN board to conduct promotion interviews for acting principal managers who are moving to Assistant General Managers.

The TCN has appealed to electricity workers to suspend their proposed strike over staff welfare, assuring that it had taken steps to resolve the issues that had been highlighted by the union.

Also, the Minister of State for Power, Goddy Jedy-Agba, appealed to the union to give the government 2 weeks to address the issues raised and come up with proposals for an acceptable resolution of all of them.

He noted that the ministry was committed to proffering solutions that would be acceptable to all parties concerned.

Despite appeals from the Minister of State for Power and the TCN management for time to resolve the issues, the electricity workers appeared adamant as they made good their threat to continue with their industrial action.

NUEE in a letter dated August 16, 2022, signed by its General Secretary, Joe Ajaero, and addressed to the Minister of State for Power, said that members of the union would continue with its industrial action with a total withdrawal of service on Wednesday.

Ajaero in the letter expressed regrets that the agreement that the union reached with TCN due to the intervention of the minister has not been implemented 3 years after.