Despite a federal government statement urging the National Union of Electricity Employees (NUEE) not to strike, the workers delivered on their threat yesterday, knocking down electricity in sections of Abuja and its surrounds.
Abuja, Nasarawa, Kogi, sections of Edo, Niger, and Kaduna states were among those affected by the Abuja Electricity Distribution Company (AEDC) franchise.
The AEDC-affiliated demonstrators stated they were taking industrial action because their entitlements had been unpaid for more than 20 months.
As a result of the impact of the ownership dispute in the Distribution Company, the federal government warned workers against taking action over the weekend through the ministry of power (Disco).
Mr Goddy Jedy-Agba, Minister of State for Power, had asked members of the labour union to follow due process while addressing their issues, emphasizing that acting against established regulations would be a violation of existing laws, with unforeseen consequences.
“Be cautious and responsible,” the minister encouraged the union members, “to avoid jeopardizing the vulnerable situation of our electricity infrastructure, which the current government is working hard to strengthen.”
Members of the firm’s personnel, who are seeking payment of their 2020 bonus and other rights, as well as the remittance of pensions allegedly withheld by the company to their pension fund administrators, have shut down portions of the AEDC’s facilities in defiance.
“Enough is Enough!” says the narrator. Pay us our outstanding pension remittances, thrift/corporate deductions, 2020 productivity bonus, bulk rent, and union check-off bonus,” some banners in the AEDC’s Abuja offices read.
The Transmission Company of Nigeria (TCN) responded by saying that, while it had bulk power available for delivery to the AEDC’s distribution load centers for offtake by its customers, power evacuation from injection substations around the franchise area had been hampered.
“TCN regrets this outage and assures Nigerians that normal bulk power transmission to AEDC would be restored as soon as the injection substations are open for onward electrical supply to customers,” TCN’s General Manager, Public Affairs, Ndidi Mbah, said in a statement.
AEDC’s Public Affairs Manager, Oyebode Fadipe, also issued a statement urging the distribution company’s consumers to remain calm as all lingering issues were rectified.
“As a result of the National Union of Electricity Employees’ strike, power delivery to some of our areas of operation, particularly those on the 11kV network, may be disrupted.”
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“We want to reassure all of our consumers that we are working tirelessly to remedy the issues that caused this step.” “We’d also like to apologize to our customers for the inconvenience and disturbance,” said the Disco.