Electricity Workers Take A Stand: Lock Out Minister And Issue 14 Days Ultimatum | The Legend News 

The National Union of Electricity Employees (NUEE) and the Senior Staff Association of Electricity and Allied Companies (SSAEAC) have shut down operations at the Federal Ministry of Power in Abuja on Monday.

 The unions, determined to fight for their rights, locked out Minister of Power Adebayo Adelabu and other ministry workers, denying them access to the Power House building in Maitama District.

This decisive action comes as the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) and Trade Union Congress (TUC) issued a 14-day ultimatum to the Federal Government to reverse the recent hike in electricity tariff.

 The unions made this demand at the end of a joint National Executive Council meeting, where they vowed to take a stand against the government’s unpopular decision.

With this move, the electricity workers are sending a clear message: they will not back down in the face of injustice.

 The government must listen to their demands and take immediate action to address the issues facing the sector. The clock is ticking, and the unions are ready to take further action if their ultimatum is ignored.

The unions took the decision at the end of a jointly held National Executive Council meeting

“The NEC once again vehemently condemns the unilateral increase in electricity tariff by the authorities. This action, taken without due consideration for the economic hardships faced by the masses and the provisions of the law, is deemed unjust and burdensome. The NEC reaffirms its demands for an immediate reversal of the tariff hike and the vexatious apartheid categorisation into bands to alleviate the suffering of Nigerian workers and citizens and gives the National Electricity Regulatory Commission and the Federal Government until the last day of May, 2024 to meet these demands,” the unions said in a  statement issued at the end of their meeting.

The acting General Secretary of NUEE, Igwebike Dominic, told our correspondent that the shutdown of the power ministry would continue until the government listens to the demands of the union or calls for a meeting to address the issues.

“The shutdown of Power House is going to continue until they hold a meeting with the unions or meet the demands written in our letter to the minister,” he stated.

In the letter to Adelabu, jointly signed by both unions and dated May 20, 2024, the associations stated that the government took a unilateral and detrimental decision to liquidate TCN without consulting stakeholders.

They said, “We are taken aback by the utmost disregard for the critical stakeholders in the power sector by you and your agency’s unilateral and detrimental decisions in the sector.

“We believe that all agencies, under your ministry, should key into your agenda and set goals by extension to the vision of this administration in seeing to a regular and sustainable power supply in the country. So, the disruption being engineered by NERC in the sector is not surprising, as there is no known agenda or vision for the power sector by your administration one year after the resumption of office.

“The unfortunate scenario playing out in the power sector points to the fact that you administer the sector like a personal estate with no consideration for the welfare and survival of the workers and the sector in general.”

They accused the minister that since he assumed office a year ago, “your ministry and NERC have been running the sector without recourse to critical stakeholders in the power industry”.

The unions stated that the unilateral tariff increase to about 300 per cent was done without stakeholders’ dialogue, adding that the proposed review of workers’ salaries does not receive the desired considerations.

According to the unions, this is provocative and unacceptable.

“The mischievous deduction of eight per cent of the revenue generated as technical losses from TCN is a political calculation to blackmail the company and its management to make it look inefficient is disheartening and would, in the long term, hurt the entire electricity value chain. This is highly unacceptable and cannot be sustained.

“The vexatious order from NERC on a monthly deduction of N2bn from the account of TCN is unrealistic and an attempt to run TCN down, portray the management as incompetent and take advantage of the failures for selfish political gains. We want a justified reason for such a humongous and unrealistic deduction.

“The illegal deduction of 46.7 per cent from TCN revenue (not even profit) for project execution for Discos; are the privatised companies not owned by private entities? What system of privatisation are we adopting? Our findings revealed that all these obnoxious orders from NERC are a conspiracy to grind the operations of TCN and then liquidate it. These are to prepare enough ground to unbundle it for selfish political gains by a few people,” they expounded.

The unions vowed to vehemently resist any attempt to cede those infrastructures to cronies for political patronage.

“NERC must reverse the unilateral tariff increase implemented without consulting with critical stakeholders in the sector. The salaries of the workers in the sector must be reviewed.

“All obnoxious deductions from TCN must stop forthwith and all deducted funds remitted back to TCN with immediate effect. Why these deductions, when revenue is required to strengthen the already aged and weak network that will guarantee stable and reliable energy supply?

“Henceforth, all staff in the sector will have electricity rebates (units) allocated to them as a standard practice. Gencos must not be given revenue generated from TCN and Discos until they allow the unionisation of their companies as provided by the Labour Act,” they noted.


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