Both the Transmission Company of Nigeria and the management of the AEDC confirmed that the strike by the in-house union of the power firm led to the blackout witnessed in most states that got their supply from the Disco.
It was gathered that the strike was due to the failure to pay outstanding entitlements to workers of the power firm.
According to the National Union of Electricity Employees at AEDC, some of the entitlements include workers thrift deductions for about seven months, pension remittances, outstanding batches of the year 2020 productivity bonus, union check off dues, among others.
A letter signed by the union’s Zonal Organiser (Liaison), A.S. Kolade, stated that a seven-day ultimatum was given to the AEDC management before the strike commenced on Monday.
The union stated that the ultimatum had since expired, hence, the industrial action, as it further threatened that industrial peace would not be guaranteed until the entitlements were paid.
As a result of the development, the TCN on Monday informed the general public that it had available bulk power for delivery to the distribution load centres of the AEDC for off-take to its customers.
“However, power evacuation from injection substations across the AEDC franchise area has been disrupted following a shutdown of the AEDC facilities by its in-house workers’ union,” the General Manager, Public Affairs, TCN, Ndidi Mbah, said.
She added, “The areas under the AEDC franchise include Abuja, Nasarawa, Kogi, parts of Edo, Niger and Kaduna states.
“TCN regrets this disruption and assures Nigerians that normal bulk power delivery to AEDC will be restored as soon as the injection substations are opened for onward electricity supply to consumers.”
The General Manager, Corporate Communications, AEDC, Bode Fadipe, also confirmed the strike but said efforts were ongoing to address the situation.
He said, “Following the industrial action embarked upon by the National Union of Electricity Employees, power supply to some of our areas of operation, especially those on the 11kV network, may be affected.
“We would like to assure all our customers that all hands are on deck to resolve the issues that prompted this action. We would also like to apologise to our customers for the inconvenience and disruption.”
Reacting, the Chairman of the union in the FCT, Godfrey Aba, “We are being owed about N40bn. The CBN is supposed to release N2.5bn on monthly basis. And it is now getting to two years. In 2019, the CBN escrowed the accounts of the Discos and there was an agreement that the apex bank should release N2.5bn monthly to the company.”
The aggrieved workers had sealed off the AEDC office in the state.
The Vice Chairman of the National Union of Electricity Employees, Niger State chapter, Mu’azu Ibrahim, said the strike would be indefinite until the remittances deducted from their salaries were paid.
He added that the AEDC offices across Niger, Nasarawa, Kogi and Abuja states had been shut down by the union.
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