A nationwide blackout is imminent as electricity workers begin indefinite strike on Wednesday.
The strike action was declared by the unions under the aegis of the National Union of Electricity Employees (NUEE)
The union said the decision embark on the industrial action remains the only option left since there was no dialogue with the Federal Government to resolve the lingering crisis in the sector.
Assistant General Secretary of NUEE, Anthony Sule in a statement said the 21-day ultimatum given to Minister of Power, Saleh Mamman, expired at midnight on Tuesday, noting that the union had no option but to commence an indefinite strike.
“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 with the over 2,000 disengaged former PHCN workers and their pay off.
“Some of the unresolved issues are illegal transfer of union properties to power investors and the alleged refusal by some distribution companies (DisCos) to remit deducted contributory pension of their members of staff to pension managers,” he said.
Sule added that these issues were contained in a memo to the minister dated November 7, 2019.
Also, the General Secretary of NUEE, Joe Ajaero said it was regrettable that the Ministry of Power failed to respond positively to the strike notice.
Ajaero said the only response from the ministry was the letter sent to the union on November 18.
He said minister assured the union that something would be done immediately he settled down, adding that after waiting, the union again wrote the minister on the December 6 but up till Tuesday evening, nothing had been done.
“The strike letter was sent to the Ministry of Power and there was one letter they wrote, saying the minister is not in the country and that he is still studying the situation. They said the minister would look into everything, that is all,” Ajaero stated.
The General Secretary stated that the union made sure that it sent its letter to all the relevant authorities in the power sector, including security agencies. He added that the strike notice was published in one of the national dailies to ensure that no one would claim not to have seen it.
Ajaero said the union had given more than enough opportunity for dialogue on the issues but that nothing was forthcoming from the government.