Wednesday, October 5, 2022

Electricity workers to shut down national grid over Buhari regime’s failure to honour agreement

The union said the two weeks ultimatum given to the federal government to resolve the crisis had elapsed.

• September 23, 2022
NUEE, Power grid and Lantern

Electricity workers under the umbrella of The National Union of Electricity Employees (NUEE) have threatened to resume their industrial action by shutting down the national powergrid again if the President Muhammadu Buhari regime fails to honour the agreement it made with the union.

Issuing this threat while addressing journalists in Kaduna on Thursday, Dukat Ayuba, the union’s zonal organising secretary, North-West, said the two weeks ultimatum given to the federal government to resolve the crisis had elapsed.

Mr Ayuba explained that while negotiation was still on-going, the shutdown of the national grid was imminent.

According to him, the so-called privatisation of the sector was a scam. He explained that nine years after, nothing has changed to improve its activities.

“That was why we kicked against privitasing the distribution sector, because the investors don’t have the capacity and expertise. As committed Nigerians, we advised government against it. But the government was hell bent on doing so,” he said. 

“The investors are still operating with obsolete equipment dating back to 35, 40, and 50 years. One will expect that with the coming of the investors they will replace this obsolete equipment but nothing has been done,” he added.

“We now generate megawatts with higher tariffs. Bringing hardships to the homes of millions of Nigerians. This will only happen in Nigeria.”

On his part, Ado Gaya, NUEE’s Vice President for North-West, said the demands made by the electricity workers involved their legitimate earnings, which involved 55,000 workers. He explained that many of the workers had died, while those who had been laid off were suffering, with their families receiving no assistance in earning a living.

Recall that on August 17, many parts of the country experienced a total power outage as electricity workers led by Joe Ajaero downed tools over an industrial impasse about the promotion of senior officers, among other agitations.

However, the striking union agreed to suspend the strike after a meeting with the Minister of Labour, Chris Ngige.

The stakeholders at the meeting agreed to set up a high power delegation to look into issues brought up by the NUEE and report back within two weeks.

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