Electricity Employee suspends strike, Working to Restore Power

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CEM REPORT | The National Union of Electricity Employees has agreed to temporarily suspend it’s industrial action for two weeks to allow for intervention of relevant stakeholders towards the amicable resolution of their grievances

The decision to suspend the strike came after a meeting with the Minister of Labour and Employment, Dr Chris Ngige on Wednesday.

This information is contained in a statement from the Head, Press and Public Relations of the Ministry of Labor and Productivity.

“The Honourable Minister of Labour and Employment, Dr Chris Ngige, has apprehended the strike embarked upon by the National Union of Electricity Employees (NUEE) following an emergency meeting between the union, government, and other stakeholders, at the instance of the Minister of Labour and Employment, Dr Chris Ngige,”

“Dr Ngige set up a tripartite committee to look into the grievances of electricity workers towards addressing them.” The statement reads.

The statement added that the union’s secretary general, Joe Ajaero, has “assured the minister that all necessary steps would be taken to restore the supply of electricity to the country immediately”.

Before this resolution, the nation had been thrown into total darkness as TCN had shot down the electricity grid.

TCN said the grid had to be shut down at 3 pm Wednesday as a result of switched off transmission lines and feeder lines across the power system network by the striking workers.

According to a press statement signed by Ndidi Mbah, General Manager Public Affairs, TCN and sighted by CEM, the company notes that efforts is ongoing to restore the grid.

Although, TCN emphasises that the shutdown was by Union functionaries, TCN adds that the Ministries of Power and Labour & Employment were meeting with the Union Officials to resolve the issues.

The statement reads in part;

“Following the Industrial Dispute declared by the two in-house Unions at the Transmission Company of Nigeria (TCN), the national electric power grid has been shut down by Union functionaries even as unfettered effort was being made to resolve the issues upon which the action was called.

“The incident occurred at 15:01Hrs, today after several 330kV transmission lines and 33kV feeder-lines across the power system network had been switched off by the Union members, resulting in generation-load imbalance and multiple voltage escalations at critical stations and substations. Regrettably, this is coming weeks after we had emerged from hectic grid management regime, precipitated by paucity of generation, which we grappled with for a couple of months.

“It would be recalled, in tandem with the initiative of the Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission on Partial Activation of Contracts coupled with the stream of interventions by the Ministry of Power and other stakeholders in the Value Chain – grid generation (at Peak) had reached 4,830.69MW as at yesterday, the 16th of August, 2022.

“Inspite of this setback, we are set to restore the grid as quickly as possible. The Ministries of Power and Labour & Employment are currently meeting with the Union Officials in order to resolve the issues.

The Nigerian Electricity Supply Industry appreciates the understanding of our customers – within and outside the country. Enduring mechanisms are being instituted to avert a situation of this kind, going forward.”

Recall that CEM had earlier reported that the national grid generation fell from over 4,000 megawatts (MW) to 762MW.

Power generation on the grid was 4,149.40MW as of 6 am from 21 power plants on Wednesday but drastically dropped to 1,635MW from 17 plants.

By noon, the grid had crashed to 1,246.40MW as three power plants went off, and by 1 pm, the grid dropped to 762.30MW with just 13 plants active. The peak generation achieved on Tuesday was 4,829MW.

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