The Electricity Distribution Companies (Discos) have alerted Nigerians to a likely nationwide blackout as the Transmission Company of Nigeria (TCN) yesterday begged workers in the sector to suspend their proposed strike which commences today.
The workers were said to be riled over the neglect of their welfare, with the National Union of Electricity Employees (NUEE) directing its members to picket offices of TCN on Tuesday, after which a strike action would begin.
In a memo to its customers seen by THISDAY, Eko Electricity Distribution Company (EKEDC), said it anticipated that the industrial action, if it goes as planned may lead to disruption of power supply to electricity consumers across the nation.
However, it reassured its customers that it was working with the relevant regulatory authorities and the parties involved to reach an amicable resolution and avert the strike action.
Also yesterday, the Managing Director, TCN, Sule Abdulaziz, in a letter addressed to the workers asked the union to “stay action”, assuring that TCN had taken steps to resolve the issues.
He said: “We are pleased to inform you that management has suspended the proposed interview for those on acting appointment of assistant general, managers and general managers while we conclude discussion with the board.
“On the other two issues — circular from the office of Head of Service (HoS) on stigmatisation of the defunct Power Holding Company of Nigeria (PHCN) staff and payment of entitlement of ex-PHCN staff by market operator — the management has contacted the honourable minister of power for his further action.
“In view of this development, we appeal to your union to stay action; please accept the assurances of our highest regards.”
In addition, Minister of State, Jedy-Agba, , in a letter dated August 15, told the union that the ministry was committed to proffering solutions that would be acceptable to all parties concerned.
“May we appeal to your great union to allow us two weeks from the date of this letter to address the issues and come up with proposals toward acceptable resolution of all issues,” he said.
Earlier, NUEE, through its Secretary General, Joe Ajaero, said the picketing was to challenge a directive by the TCN board that all principal managers in acting capacity upgrading to acting-general manager capacity must appear for a promotion interview.
The union said the directive was in contravention of the workers’ conditions of service and career progression paths, adding that “it was unilaterally done without the relevant stakeholders”.
The group also complained about the failure of the authorities to pay the entitlement of former staff of the defunct PHCN in December 2019.