Commercial centres and residential areas in Oyo State, Ogun and other states are currently experiencing blackout, while others have resorted to alternative sources of power as electricity workers have begun a nationwide strike over staff welfare and promotion issues.
While reacting to the development, IBEDC in a public notice on Twitter page some hours ago, said it is currently experiencing disruption of power supply due to the strike.
“Dear esteemed customer, due to the ongoing nationwide picketing of transmission stations by the National Union of Electricity Employees (NUEE), we are currently experiencing disruption of service across our franchise (Oyo, Ogun, Osun, Kwara, parts of Kogi, Niger and Ekiti states) as power stations have been shut down.
“Kindly bear with us as we await a positive resolution from relevant stakeholders…”
Meanwhile, the National Union of Electricity Employees, NUEE on Wednesday shutdown the electricity national grid causing darkness to cover the whole country.
Earlier on August 16, the NUEE had directed its members to picket TCN offices nationwide after which they would embark on strike on August 17.
The strike by the workers under the aegis of the NUEE, was triggered by the directive of the TCN Board that all principal managers who are in acting capacity, must undergo promotion interviews.
The group also raised concerns over the failure of the authorities to pay entitlements of former staff of the defunct Power Holding Company of Nigeria (PHCN) in December 2019.
The impact of the strike began unfolding at 10am Wednesday when the grid dropped from 4,149 Megawatts recorded at 6am to 2,600MW. The grid capacity continued to drop as more workers at transmission stations downed tools.
It fell further to 939.4MW at 3pm and finally recorded zero generation at 4pm.
Reports have it that the protesting workers had blocked the entrance to the Transmission Company of Nigeria, TCN, headquarters building in Abuja.
The building houses the Federal Ministry of Power, where the Minister of Power and the Minister of State, Power have their offices. Their action locked out staff of the ministry as well as both ministers and their aides.
NUEE General Secretary, Joe Ajaero had in the letter calling out the workers for strike said the directive for the promotion interview was in contravention of the workers’ condition of service and career progression path.
He said it was unilaterally done without the relevant stakeholders.
Ajaero in an interview said, the situation remained the same while apportioning blame to the stakeholders for neglecting the workers.
He said: “The strike will commence today, barring any last minute miracle. The issues are beyond TCN and the minister. There is the promotion issue which we don’t have problem with and will be handled by the TCN. Then there is balance of entitlement of PHCN workers with an agreement signed in 2019. There has been no payment whatsoever by the market operators of the TCN.
“The circular by the Head of Service can only be addressed by the service and the Minister of Labour.
“The Minister of State cannot speak for the Head of Service.
“We wrote about three letters for clarification and we didn’t start with an ultimatum, but there was no response which forced our hands. This was after the TCN said it was beyond their capability to resolve the matter”, he added.
The strike action went on as planned despite the intervention of the Minister of State Power, Goddy Jedy-Agba who had appealed for a two weeks grace to allow the government address the issues raised by the workers.
In the meantime, the striking workers have vowed they would remain on strike until the issues are resolved.