Blackout Imminent As Union Targets New Power Companies

Electricity

Nigerians should expect more power outages if the National Union of Electricity Employees (NUEE) makes good its threat to picket and cripple operations of power companies in the country.

The union said in Lagos on Tuesday that its decision to picket the new owners of the companies sold by the Federal Government late last year was because of alleged unfair workers practices and extortion of customers among others.

Nigeria has suffered outages in recent times owing to attacks on gas pipelines supplying gas to generating plants among other problems and the threat by the NUEE, if carried out will further cut production and supply of electricity.

A statement by the union said accused the new owners of “de-unionisation and casualisation of workers, under-payment of workers remunerations as well as sacking of union leaders after legitimate struggle for workers’ right.”

Tuesday’s statement also accused the new owners of “continued manipulation associated with increase in fixed tariff, continued non-metering of electricity customers and non-payment of entitlement of disengaged staff.”

The union’s statement read in part: “Bureau of Public Enterprises, BPE, has been fielding Nigerians with lies that they have finished paying workers in the Power sector, whereas, the BPE, Ministry of Power and the Accountant General of the Federation are unable to explain the whereabouts of over N100 billion meant for the payment of the workers entitlements. 10% Equity shareholding for workers as collectively agreed has been jettisoned.

“The issue of biometric of workers has been a broad day racket as the consultant engaged for this purpose has continued to use endless biometric exercise to siphon the finances of the Sector,” the union added.