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Blackout looms as electricity workers issue fresh 14-day ultimatum

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….as FG failed to implement December 11th agreement

By Oluwaseyi Akorede

The National Union of Electricity Employees (NUEE), has issued a fresh 14-day ultimatum to the federal government over non-implementation of the December 11, 2019 agreement, threatening to ground the power sector indefinitely if a dear is not met after the warning.

According to the General Secretary of the Union, Comrade Joe Ajaero at a press conference with Journalist in Lagos, he accused the Minister of State for Power, Goddy Agba of harassment and intimidation during the union’s negotiation on challenges affecting workers in the sector after the initial strike was suspended. 

“If at the end of 14 working days these issues are not addressed, the union resume its suspended industrial action of December 11, 2019. That the whole country must hold the Minister of State, Power, Mr Goddy Agba responsible for the outcome of such action.

“The union would have commenced a wild cat industrial action on the spot but if not the respect we have for the office of the speaker of the house of representative and the honourable Minister of Labour and our commitment to industrial peace and harmony. “

Comrade Joe Ajaero

Ajaero, further explained that though government agencies had intervened in the matter, the union has not gotten any timely implementation for its demands.

He explained that cause of the dispute was the non-payment of the entitlements of workers of the defunct Power Holding Company of Nigeria (PHCN) laid off when the company was privatised as well as short payment and conditions of service for workers of electricity companies.

“Because of the nature of the generating companies, where they were sited were excluded from where people were living and the union decided to build schools for the kids of our members in such areas,” he clarified.

“The Power Sector Reform Act provides that power stations be handed over to some investors but not the primary schools which were seized.

“By virtue of the Act, even if there are buildings, it is the Nigeria Electricity Liability Management Company that will take them, not the GenCos.”

On other issues, he said: “We have taken this matter up with the Bureau of Public Enterprises (BPE) in the last six years. On two or three occasions, we have had cause to lock up the office of the BPE and they will tell us that they have cleared up some names waiting for the Accountant-General of the Federation to pay, but up to this moment nothing has happened.”

Comrade Ajaero also noted that the union believes strongly on the position of the Nasir El-Rufai committee and the Federal Executive Council who resolved that the power sector has collapsed, and it should be retrieved from its current operators.

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