Electricity: Nigeria Lost N4bn To Workers Strike
The industrial action undertaken by members of the National Union of Electricity Employees (NUEE) on Wednesday may have cost the country over N4bn with nationwide outages.
NUEE called off the strike yesterday after meeting with the Federal Government. Economic Confidential reports that at least N1.9bn is lost on a normal daily basis when power generation is at an average 3,850 megawatts (MW), record of daily Energy Report by the Advisory Power Team, Office of the Vice President for September 2019 indicates.
However, in the case of Wednesday’s strike, the national grid was said to have fallen lower than 1,000MW and at some point to a complete shutdown as the union locked out electricity workers across major power generation stations, transmission stations and the distribution stations. Experts in the power sector said the losses were unquantifiable but could be over N4bn just for the electricity industry alone.
As at Tuesday before the strike action commenced, the peak power generation was 4,047.2MW but dropped to abysmally lower figures on Wednesday due to non-operation of the plants. NUEE said it protested the non-payment of salaries, pensions and other entitlements across the privatised power firms. NUEE had earlier given a 21-day notice in a letter written to the Minister of Power, Engr. Sale Mamman to intervene in the issue.
The duration however elapsed on Tuesday, forcing the NUEE members with support from the umbrella body of Trade Union Congress (TUC) to protest. Our reporter observed that electricity workers at the headquarters of the Abuja Electricity Distribution Company (AEDC) joined in the protest. The union blamed the Federal Ministry of Power for failing to act within the warning period.
A copy of the letter seen on Wednesday by this paper was signed by the National President of NUEE, Comrade Joe Ajaero. The union said all the power firms must comply with their terms. Some of these include remittance of pensions due to all the engaged staff of the DisCos, Generation Companies (GenCos) and other power firms, most of them transferred from the defunct PHCN after the power sector privatization in 2013.