Total darkness looms as electricity workers begin nationwide strike

Nigerians may have to brace up for nationwide blackout as electricity workers in the country began indefinite strike this morning.

The decision to embark on the indefinite strike became necessary after the Federal Government failed to dialogue with the National Union of Electricity Employees (NUEE) to resolve the lingering industrial crisis in the sector.

It was gathered that some of the unresolved issues that led to the strike were the illegal transfer of union properties to power investors, alleged refusal by some Distribution Companies (DisCos) to remit deducted contributory pension of staff to pension managers and improved conditions of service.

According to a statement issued by Assistant Secretary-General of NUEE, Anthony Sule, the 21-day ultimatum given to the Minister of Power Saleh Mamman expired at midnight on Tuesday.

“The ministry of power has failed to resolve some issues affecting members of the union since 2013 when the power sector was privatised especially issues that with the over 2,000 disengaged former PHCN workers and their pay off.

“It is our action that will show if we are ready or not. We can’t continue to issue threats without action.”

According to a source, efforts to contact the Minister of Labour and Employment, Senator Chris Ngige, to comment on the issues raised by the electricity workers failed.

Meanwhile, it was learnt that some DisCos such as Eko and Ikeja Electric have partially complied with some of the demands of the workers, while others are yet.

Notwithstanding the efforts of some of the DisCos to partially meet the demand of the workers, the services of all distribution companies would still be affected as the strike action also affects the power generation companies supplying electricity to the DisCos.