Blackout looms, as electricity workers threaten to shut down national grid again

Nigerians may soon experience another blackout, as the National Union of Electricity Employees, (NUEE), has threatened to shut down the national grid if the Federal Government fails to honour its demands soon again.

Recall, the workers on Wednesday, August 17, 2022, after a meeting with Chris Ngige, minister of labour and employment suspended its twenty-four-hour strike for two weeks.

The union is protesting the nonpayment of outstanding arrears owed to former workers of the now-defunct Power Holding Company of Nigeria, (PHCN), the suspension of conditions of service and career path for workers, and the directive by the Transmission Company of Nigeria (TCN) Board to conduct promotion interviews for its Acting Principal Managers who are to move to Assistant General Managers.

According to the NUEE zonal Organising Secretary, North-West, Comrade Dukat Ayuba, the aggrieved workers said the two weeks given to resolve the crisis has elapsed. He said that while the negotiation is still on going, the shutting down of the national grid still hangs.

Ayuba lamented the so-called privatisation of the sector, saying it was a scam because according to him, nine years after being taken over by investors, nothing has changed. According to the union leader, the nation still generates 5,000 megawatts (MWs) of electricity, saying, this is the same 5,000 MWs we used to generate. So what is the benefit of privatisation? We now generate megawatts with higher tariffs. Bringing hardships to the homes of millions of Nigerians. This can only happen in Nigeria”, he lamented.

Also speaking, a member of the Central Executive Committee, Wisdom Nwachukwu, noted that the Federal Government now wants to sell the Transmission Company of Nigeria, (TCN).  Elaborating further, the NUEE vice-president, North-West, Ado Gaya, revealed that the 16 months demanded by the electricity workers is their legitimate earnings which involve 55,000 workers.

He said, however, nine years later, the workers have not received a dime, saying many of the workers have died, while those who were laid-off are suffering with their families.

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