Electricity Workers Lock Out Minister, Reject N2 Billion Deduction


Electricity workers union has locked out the Minister of Power, Chief Adebayo Adelabu, and other top officials of the Ministry and the Transmission Company of Nigeria (TCN) over pending labour issues.

This includes an order from the Federal Government that N2 billion should be deducted from TCN's account to fund power distribution companies (DisCos).

The workers, who locked the gates leading into the complex housing the Ministry of Power and TCN, vowed not to open the gates until they met with the Minister. This drastic action was taken after the Minister failed to meet with their union officials last Thursday.

In a note to journalists, the Minister's media aide, Bolaji Tunji, stated that the Minister is willing to meet with the invited parties, which include the National Union of Electricity Employees (NUEE) and its senior staff association, at a date to be agreed upon by both parties.

The two in-house unions have rejected the Federal Government's order to deduct N2 billion from TCN's account to fund DisCos, describing it as "unrealistic and an attempt to run TCN down."

In a joint letter to the Minister of Power, NUEE and its Senior Staff Association of Electricity and Allied Companies (SSAEAC) issued a two-week strike notice to the government, demanding the reversal of the 300% hike in electricity tariff and the stoppage of obnoxious deductions from TCN's revenue.

The unions believe that the proposed unbundling of TCN without input from critical stakeholders is a conspiracy to grind TCN's operations and liquidate it for selfish political gains. They have vowed to resist any attempt to cede TCN's infrastructures to cronies for political patronage.

The unions implore the Minister to reverse the tariff increase and maintain the status quo within the next two weeks to protect the industrial harmony in the sector and deliver uninterrupted power supply to Nigerians.

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