Nigerians are likely to be thrown into a complete blackout in the country as electricity workers are considering a nationwide industrial action to press home their demands from the Federal Government.
This is coming barely three weeks after electricity workers under the aegis of the National Union of Electricity Employees, NUEE, and Senior Staff Association of Electricity and Allied Companies, SSAEC suspended their nationwide strike.
According to Vanguard, there are indications that the workers might resume the suspended strike due to the alleged unwillingness of the government to resolve issues of unpaid entitlements to former workers of the defunct Power Holding Company of Nigeria, PHCN.
Though the Federal Government is meeting with the workers’ representatives to resolve the issues today, it is reported that the government agencies including the Bureau of Public Enterprise (BPE) are shying away from the payment of the benefits, among other pending entitlements.
A source who spoke to the newspaper said, “The government agencies including the BPE are shying away from taking the responsibility for the payment of the entitlements. They are passing bucks and this is a major hindrance to resolving the issues.
‘’Though other issues are progressing well, the issue of payment will stall the resolution of the issues. The workers are already very restive because the two weeks given to resolve the matter ends tomorrow (today).
‘’There is tension in the sector because the workers are aware of the development and are pushing for a resumption of the suspended strike. So, tomorrow’s meeting is very crucial to either the resolution of the matter or, there will be fresh industrial unrest.”
Vanguard also reported that since the suspension of the workers’ strike, the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) had allegedly been harassing union leaders in the power sector to intimidate them over the agreements reached with the Federal Government during the privatisation exercise in 2013.
But one of the union leaders, who spoke to the newspaper said no amount of harassment or intimidation can stop them from fighting for their rights.