Nigeria electricity workers have called off their statewide strike, which has resulted in total darkness in certain sections of the country.
Following the intervention of Senator Chris Ngige, Minister of Labor and Employment, the power employees under the combined banner of the National Union of Electricity Employees (NUEE) and the Senior Staff Association of Electricity and Allied Companies (SSAEC) decided to halt the strike. On Wednesday, Ngige called an emergency mediation conference between the Federal Government and the Nigeria electricity workers to settle the concerns that prompted the strike.
The problems are claimed violations of their Conditions of Service and Career Progression, stigmatization of Nigeria electricity workers by the Federation’s Office of the Head of Service, and market operators’ failure to support the payment of entitlements of ex-PHCN staff as agreed in the December 2019 agreement.
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The President of NUEE, Comrade Joe Ajero, told the media after the four-hour meeting that they had been requested to cease their strike action. Ajaero expressed optimism that the Federal Government would act in good faith on the problems at stake, which had been lingering for years and had reached a dangerous stage.
He stated that the Nigeria electricity workers’ strike would be on hold for two weeks, as agreed in the meeting for the government to address their grievances. However, the President of SAARC, Comrade Chika Ben, assured the nation that the matter would be nipped in the bud before it escalates, adding that there would be no further blackout in any country.
Briefing journalists on the outcome of the meeting, Ngige said after exhaustive deliberations on the issues in dispute, they agreed to constitute a bipartite committee to look into the grievances of the Nigeria electricity workers and report back in two weeks.
According to Ngige, the members of the bipartite committee include the Minister of State for Power, Jeddy Agbaus (Chairman), Permanent Secretary, Office of the Secretary to Government of the Federation, Permanent Secretary, General Services, Office of the Head of Service of the Federation, Permanent Secretary, Federal Ministry of Labour and Employment, representative of BPE and two representatives from NUEE and SSAEC.
According to the Minister, the committee has two weeks to report to the entire House. He stated that the meeting allowed them to work out all of the issues at hand and that his ministry was aware of the disagreement.
The conference was attended by Prince Jeddy Agba, Minister of State for Power, Ms Daju Kachollom, Permanent Secretary of the Federal Ministry of Labour and Employment, Sule Ahmed Abdulaziz, Managing Director of the Transmission Company of Nigeria (TCN), and Imamuddeen Talba, Chairman of the TCN Board.
The Bureau for Public Enterprises (BPE), the Secretary to Government of the Federation (SGF), and the Office of the Federation’s Head of Service were also present.
The Bottom Line on Nigeria electricity workers
The National Union of Electricity Employees (NUEE) has halted a statewide strike. The minister’s spokesman Olajide Oshundun announced that Ngige intervened in the industrial action. NUEE Secretary General, Joe Ajaero, assured us that electricity would be restored across the country tonight. Earlier today, the employees of Transmission Companies of Nigeria (TCN) closed all of the offices in the country.